A prerequisite for collaboration is the ability to speak the same language. Differences in the interpretation of terms were surprisingly wide in this field and largely unrecognised. The ITMIG community organized a broad process to clarify critical terms. Multiple workgroups were assembled,and core members drafted initial proposals, which were vetted with workgroup members.
At a 2-day workshop at Yale University with broad international representation, these definitions were discussed and revised so that they would be aligned with one another. These were then further refined by the workgroups with input from the entire ITMIG membership. The final documents were approved by the ITMIG membership for use in all ongoing research and publications. The level of engagement and broad consensus in this process was in itself a major accomplishment of ITMIG. These definitions were published in a supplement to the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO) in July 2011 and are openly available for download from the ITMIG or JTO (www.jto.org) websites.