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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2012 December;67(6):489-98

language: English

Wedge resection versus lobectomy for T1N0 non-small cell lung cancer

Stefani A., Nesci J., Casali C., Morandi U.

Unit of Thoracic Surgery, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Modena, Italy


AIM: Advances in imaging techniques and screening protocols can detect more small lung cancers. Controversy exists regarding surgical management of these small tumors.
METHODS: Records and long-term outcome of all patients with T1N0 (≤2 cm) non-small cell lung cancer undergoing wedge resection with curative intent from 1996 through 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Those patients were compared with a group of patients treated with lobectomy during the same period and for a disease at the same stage. Sublobar resections were performed in compromised patients in all cases.
RESULTS: The study included 206 patients: 82 received wedge resection, 124 lobectomy. Morbidity and mortality were similar between the two groups. Locoregional recurrence rate was significantly higher for wedge resection compared with lobectomy (22% versus 8% respectively), cancer-specific survival and disease-free survival were significantly poorer for wedge resection with respect to lobectomy: 5-year survival of 74% versus 85% respectively, 5-year disease-free survival of 62% versus 77%. The type of operation resulted as an independent prognostic factor of cancer-specific survival.
CONCLUSION: We found poorer outcome for wedge resection compared to lobectomy. We believe that caution should be used when suggesting the use of wedge resection as intentional limited resection for patients with small non-small cell lung cancer who may otherwise tolerate lobectomy. Two randomized trials comparing limited resection and lobectomy are ongoing in Japan and in United States: they will better clarify the role of limited resection, especially segmentectomy, in the treatment of T1aN0 tumors. Wedge resection may remain a valid option for compromised patients.

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