Extranodal extension refers to the growth of a nodal cancer metastasis beyond the confines of the capsule of the lymph node into adjacent tissues. Less preferred synonyms include extranodal spread, extracapsular extension, or extracapsular spread. This finding holds prognostic implications. For example, in the latest TNM staging system for most cancers of the head and neck, extranodal extension is the most significant pathological finding in a positive lymph node. For staging purposes, a regional node metastasis invading a distant organ is considered an extranodal extension and not distant metastatic disease 1.
- 1. Amin MB, Edge SB, Greene FL, et al. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. (2018) ISBN: 9783319406176
- 2. Lydiatt WM, Patel SG, O'Sullivan B, Brandwein MS, Ridge JA, Migliacci JC, Loomis AM, Shah JP. Head and Neck cancers-major changes in the American Joint Committee on cancer eighth edition cancer staging manual. (2017) CA: a cancer journal for clinicians. 67 (2): 122-137. doi:10.3322/caac.21389 - Pubmed