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Table 1 TNM classification descriptors and additional modifiers

From: TNM-O: ontology support for staging of malignant tumours

Descriptor Values Meaning
T 0-4, is, X Extent of the primary tumour
N 0-3, X Extent of metastasis in regional lymph nodes
M 0-1 Existence of distant metastasis
Prefix to T, N, M p, c Clinical (pre-therapeutical) or pathological (post-surgical assessment)
Suffix to pNn (mi) Micrometastasis (< 0.2 cm)
Suffix to pNn (sn) Sentinel lymph node metastasis
Suffix to pN0 or pM0 (i+), (mol+) Isolated tumour cells, positive findings
G X, 1-4 Histopathological grading
Suffix to T (m) Multiple primary tumours at a single side
Prefix to c/ p y Assessment during multimodal therapy
Prefix to c/ p r Recurrent tumour
Prefix to c/ p a Assessment during autopsy
L X, 0-1 Lymphatic invasion
V X, 0-2 Venous invasion
Pn X, 0-1 Perineural invasion
C 1-5 Validity of the assessment, can follow each of T, N, M
R X, 0-2 Residual tumour
  1. Depending on the organ of the primary tumour, T, N, and M values can be further subdivided into levels a-c, e.g. N1a-c, N2a-c, and M1a-b in colorectal tumours