First Course Treatment: If the patient receives no treatment at the time of diagnosis (either because it is not recommended or because the patient refused treatment at that time) but treatment is later instituted after disease progression, should this treatment be coded as part of the first course of treatment?
The SEER rules changed in 1998 regarding what constitutes First Course of Cancer-Directed Therapy.
For cases diagnosed on or after 1/1/98: The First Course of Cancer-Directed Therapy fields will all be coded to 0 [None] for these types of cases. The documented disease progression would stop the timeframe for inclusion of any treatment to be part of first course of therapy.
Other Therapy: What code is used to represent "gene" therapy? See discussion.
The following form of gene therapy has been described as treatment for malignant brain tumors.
Patients undergo surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. After surgery, the patients are infused with a virus that has been genetically altered so that it is not infectious and so that it contains a gene from the herpes simplex virus. The herpes gene is sensitive to a drug called ganciclovir. Once inside the brain, the genetically altered virus infects any remaining tumor cells. When this occurs, the herpes gene is established inside the cancer cells. After the virus infects the cancer cells, the patients are given ganciclovir. This drug would kill both the virus and the brain tumor cells.
Code the Other Cancer-Directed Therapy field to 2 [Other experimental cancer-directed therapy (not included elsewhere)].
Primary Site--Esophagus: What is the difference between C15.5 [Lower third of esophagus] and C15.2 [Abdominal esophagus]?
These descriptions represent the use of two different ways the esophagus can be divided anatomically. The two different systems used are illustrated in the SEER Self Instruction Manual for Tumor Registrars: Book 4. Assign the primary site code that describes the location of the tumor in the same way the tumor's location is described in the medical record.
Extension/Ambiguous terminology: How should the terms "entrapped by tumor" and "encased by tumor" be interpreted when coding these fields?
Each case must be reviewed in its entirety to determine the appropriate coding of these fields. However, in general the terms "entrapped" and "encased" should NOT be interpreted as involvement unless there is other clinical or pathologic evidence to support involvement.
Grade, Differentiation--Brain and CNS: Can grade IV be implied for brain primaries with the histology of glioblastoma multiforme, even if there is no statement of grade in the path report? See discussion.
Dr. Platz has instructed the Iowa registry to code glioblastoma multiforme to grade IV, even when there is no corroborating statement of grade in the path report. This is also supported in some references.
Code the Grade, Differentiation field to 9 [Cell type not determined, not stated or not applicable] in the absence of a stated grade on the pathology report. If a grade is stated, code the stated grade. SEER does not recommend adopting the rule in the Discussion.
EOD-Extension/SEER Summary Stage 2000--Kidney/Eye: What codes are used to represent these fields for simultaneous bilateral Wilms tumor or simultaneous bilateral retinoblastoma?
For cases diagnosed 1998-2003:
Code the EOD-Extension field to 85 [Metastasis] and the SEER Summary Stage 2000 field to 7 [Distant] for both types of tumor. Each kidney and each eye are staged separately in the AJCC, 6th ed., but for SEER we would abstract these diagnoses as one case and code the EOD and stage fields to distant to reflect the involvement of both eyes or both kidneys.
Histology (Pre-2007)--Colon: What code is used to represent the histology "adenocarcinoma arising in a papillary adenomatous polyp"? See discussion.
Is "adenocarcinoma arising in a papillary adenomatous polyp" equivalent to adenocarcinoma in a villous adenoma [8261/3] or adenocarcinoma in an adenomatous polyp [8210/3]?
For tumors diagnosed prior to 2007:
Code the Histology field to 8261/3 [adenocarcinoma in a villous adenoma]. In describing colon polyps, papillary and villous are equivalent terms.
For tumors diagnosed 2007 or later, refer to the MP/H rules. If there are still questions about how this type of tumor should be coded, submit a new question to SINQ and include the difficulties you are encountering in applying the MP/H rules.
Diagnostic Confirmation: Is it appropriate to code this field to "radiography" confirmation when a CT scan does not actually contain a diagnosis of malignancy, however, the discharge diagnosis in the medical record of "probable malignancy" is likely based on the abnormal CT findings? See discussion.
10/1/02 CT of Chest: 1) Huge (left) suprahilar mass. 2) Moderate volume loss, left lung. Appearance suspicious of LLL collapse. An infiltrate is seen in the aerated upper lobe as well as pleural effusion. 3) Streaky and nodular changes are noted at the right base that may represent possible lymphangetic spread of tumor.