A pragmatic clinicopathobiological grouping/staging system for gliomas: Proposal of the Indian TNM subcommittee on brain tumors

Tejpal Gupta, Rajiv Sarin, Rakesh Jalali, Suash Sharma, Purna Kurkure, Atul Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: There is no universally accepted staging system for primary brain tumors wherein prognostication is mainly based on complex composite indices. Aim: To develop a simple, pragmatic, and widely applicable grouping/staging system for gliomas, the most common primary brain tumor. Materials and Methods: An expert neurooncology panel with representation from radiation oncology, neurosurgery, pathology, radiology, and medical oncology had several rounds of discussion on issues pertinent to brain tumor staging. The trade off was between the accuracy of prognostic categorization and a pragmatic, widely applicable approach. Results and Recommendations: The Tumor-Node-Metastasis staging was considered irrelevant for gliomas that seldom metastasize to lymphatics or outside the neuraxis. Instead, a 4-point staging/grouping system is proposed, using histological grade as the main prognostic variable and at least one stage migration based on other unfavorable features such as tumor location (brainstem); age (< 5 years for all grades, >50 years for high-grade, and >40 years for low-grade gliomas); poor neurological performance status (NPS 2-4); multicentricity and/or gliomatosis; and adverse biological parameters (proliferative index, angiogenesis markers, apoptotic index, cytogenetic abnormalities, and molecular markers). Conclusion: In absence of a grouping/staging system for primary brain tumors, prognostification is mostly based on complex composite indices. The proposed clinicopathobiological grouping/staging system for gliomas is a simple, pragmatic, and user-friendly tool with a potential to fulfill the objectives of staging classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalNeurology India
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009



  • Gliomas
  • Prognosis
  • Staging classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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