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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
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Minerva Pneumologica 2000 June;39(2):39-44

language: English

Resection for bronchogenic carcinoma in the elderly

Oliaro A, Leo F., Filosso P. L., Rena O., Parola A., Maggi G.


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Background. The aim of this report was to assess postoperative complications, mortality and long term survival of surgical therapy for non small cell lung cancer in patients aged 70 years or more. Results and the significance of various prognostic factors were analysed.
Methods. At Thoracic Surgery Department of Torino, from January 1980 to December 1997, 258 patients aged 70 years or more were operated on for lung cancer. For the first 11 years of the series, more restrictive selection criteria were adopted (clinical stage I or II lung cancer, absence of major concomitant disease or previous malignancy in the last 5 years); 60 patients were operated in this period. After 1990, such criteria were no longer considered mandatory; since then 198 patients have been operated. Clinical data are reviewed in the seach for predictors of mortality and morbidity and survival data are analysed.
Results. Overall postoperative mortality was 3.1% and morbidity was 39.1%. Pneumonectomy resulted in higher rate of mortality (9.1%, p 0.03). Complications proved to be more frequent in patients with concomitant disease (55.5%). Multivariate analysis on survival showed the importance of stage (5 years survival was 73.6% in stage I, 23% in stage II, 8.9% in stage IIIa) and type of selection (57% for the highly selected, 40% for the others).
Conclusions. Selection criteria have the same impact on survival as stage in surgical treatment of lung cancer in the elderly. This factor should be analysed in series covering a long period of time. Low mortality and acceptable long term survival from this study confirmed that surgery is worthwhile in elderly patients.

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