Pneumonectomy for stage I (T1N0 and T2N0) nonsmall cell lung cancer has potent, adverse impact on survival

Christos Alexiou, David Beggs, Patrick Onyeaka, Kostas Kotidis, Sudip Ghosh, Lynda Beggs, David N. Hopkinson, John P. Duffy, W. Ellis Morgan, Gaetano Rocco

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Background. Surgically treated, stage I (T1N0 and T2N0) nonsmall cell lung cancer has a relatively favorable prognosis. Our aim was to determine whether performing a pneumonectomy in this group of patients has an impact on survival. Methods. Four hundred eighty-five patients with stage I nonsmall cell lung cancer undergoing lung resection between 1991 and 2000 were studied. Three hundred seventy-four patients underwent a smaller resection than a pneumonectomy and 111 had a pneumonectomy. Results. Patients undergoing less extensive resections were older (mean age, 65 vs 63 years) (p = 0.01); these patients were also more likely to have a history of chronic obstructive airway disease (9% vs 2%) (p = 0.01) or asthma (10% vs 3%) (p = 0.04), nonsquamous cell type (56% vs 27%) (p <0.0001), and T1 tumor stage (66% vs 17%) (p = 0.002) than patients having a pneumonectomy. Operative mortality was 2.4% versus 8% (p = 0.01). Overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year Kaplan-Meier survival rates (95% confidence interval [CI]) after less extensive resections were 85% (CI, 82% to 90%), 63% (CI, 56% to 69%), and 50% (CI, 42% to 57%), respectively, and after pneumonectomy the survival rates were 66% (CI, 53% to 73%), 47% (CI, 35% to 57%), and 44% (CI, 32% to 55%), respectively (p = 0.0006). When the Cox proportional hazards model was applied to all study patients (n = 485), pneumonectomy (p = 0.001), T2 stage (p = 0.006), older age (p = 0.03), and male gender (p = 0.03) were independent adverse predictors of survival. When the analysis was limited to the patients having T1N0 disease (n = 145), pneumonectomy (p = 0.0008), older age (p = 0.05), and nonsquamous cell type (p = 0.02) were independent adverse determinants of survival. When only the patients with T2N0 disease were analyzed (n = 340), male gender (p = 0.0005) and pneumonectomy (p = 0.01) were independent negative predictors of survival. Conclusions. In this study, the patients who underwent pneumonectomy for stage T1N0 or T2N0 nonsmall cell lung cancer had a significantly poorer survival than those patients who underwent smaller lung resections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1028
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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