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Minerva Chirurgica 2010 October;65(5):569-75

language: Italian

T4 lung cancer: results of surgical treatment

D’Andrilli A., Maurizi G., Poggi C., Ciccone A. M., Ibrahim M., Andreetti C., Natili M., Rendina E. A.

Divisione di Chirurgia Toracica, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, Ospedale Sant’Andrea, Roma, Italia


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Stage T4 non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) includes an heterogeneous group of locally advanced tumors. Results of surgery alone and of chemo and/or radiotherapy are disappointing with 5-year survival rates under 10%. Although palliative chemo-radiotherapy is the treatment of choice in most cases, radical resection has shown prognostic benefit in selected groups of patients with tumor infiltrating Superior Vena Cava, carina, aorta, left atrium and vertebral bodies. Completeness of resection and absence of mediastinal nodal involvement are fundamental conditions for the long-term success of surgery. Increased postoperative 30-day mortality and 90-day mortality rates have been reported up to 8% and 18% respectively. Neoadjuvant therapy, in the last decades, has shown to improve survival of T4 NSCLC patients undergoing surgery and to increase the number of patients suitable for surgical resection. Surgical resection is not indicated in patients with neoplastic pleural effusion since it is generally related to a worse prognosis in such cases. Conversely, patients with T4 tumor due to neoplastic satellite nodule in the same lobe are good surgical candidates. In some studies, these patients show a significant survival advantage after surgical treatment with respect to patients with other types of T4 tumors, when no mediastinal nodal involvement is associated.

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