Soft tissue

Author: Vijay Shankar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 26 July 2016, last major update July 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Staging [title] soft tissue

Table of Contents
Definition / General
Cite this page: Staging. website. Accessed October 23rd, 2016.
Definition / General
  • This staging system applies to soft tissue sarcomas, but excludes fibromatosis (desmoid tumor), GIST, infantile fibrosarcoma, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, Kaposi sarcoma, mesothelioma and sarcomas arising from the dura mater, brain, parenchymatous organs or hollow viscera (Edge et al: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 7th Edition, 2011)

Primary tumor (T):
  • TX: Primary tumor cannot be assessed
  • T0: No evidence of primary tumor
  • T1: Tumor 5 cm or less in greatest dimension
  • T1a: Superficial tumor
  • T1b: Deep tumor
  • T2: Tumor more than 5 cm
  • T2a: Superficial tumor
  • T2b: Deep tumor

  • Superficial tumor is located exclusively above the superficial fascia without invasion of the fascia
  • Deep tumor is located either exclusively beneath the superficial fascia, superficial to the fascia with invasion of or through the fascia, or both superficial yet beneath the fascia

Regional lymph nodes (N):
  • NX: Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed
  • N0: No regional lymph node metastasis
  • N1: Regional lymph node metastasis

Distant metastasis (M):
  • M0: No distant metastasis
  • M1: Distant metastasis

Histologic grade (G):
  • GX: Grade cannot be assessed
  • G1: Grade 1 of 3 (low grade)
  • G2: Grade 2 of 3
  • G3: Grade 3 of 3 (high grade)

Stage grouping:
IA: T1a-b N0 M0 G1, GX
IB: T2a-b N0 M0 G1, GX
IIA: T1a-b N0 M0 G2-3
IIB: T2a-b N0 M0 G2
III: T2a-b N0 M0 G3
Any T N1 M0 Any G
IV: Any T Any N M1 Any G