Cancer Cell. 2020 Oct 10:S1535-6108(20)30537-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.10.006. Online ahead of print.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), like cancer, is a complex disease with clinical phases of progression. Initially conceptualized as a respiratory disease, COVID-19 is increasingly recognized as a multi-organ and heterogeneous illness. Disease staging is a method for measuring the progression and severity of an illness using objective clinical and molecular criteria. Integral to cancer staging is "metastasis," defined as the spread of a disease-producing agent, including neoplastic cells and pathogens such as certain viruses, from the primary site to distinct anatomic locations. Staging provides valuable frameworks and benchmarks for clinical decision-making in patient management, improved prognostication, and evidence-based treatment selection.