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What we know about surgical therapy in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer: a guide for the medical oncologist

Authors Ghanem S, El Bitar S, Hossri S, Weerasinghe C, Atallah JP

Received 9 April 2017

Accepted for publication 6 June 2017

Published 6 July 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 267—278


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Alexandra R. Fernandes

Sassine Ghanem,1 Sandy El Bitar,1 Sami Hossri,1 Chanudi Weerasinghe,2 Jean Paul Atallah2

1Department of Internal Medicine, 2Department of Hematology and Oncology, Staten Island University Hospital – Northwell Health, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death in cancer patients. The gold standard for the treatment of early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer is lobectomy with mediastinal lymph-node dissection or systematic lymph-node sampling. The evidence behind this recommendation is based on the sole randomized controlled trial conducted to date, done by the Lung Cancer Study Group and published in 1995, which found a superiority for lobectomy over sublobar resection with regard to local recurrence rate and improved survival. The population studied at that time were medically fit patients at low risk for surgery with a stage IA non-small-cell lung carcinoma, ie, a solitary tumor less than 3 cm in size. In practice, however, thoracic surgeons have continued to push the limit of a more conservative surgical resection in this patient population. Since then, several retrospective studies have attempted to identify the ideal population to benefit from sublobar resection without it affecting survival or local recurrence. Several variables have been studied, including tumor size, patient age, surgical approach, histological and radiological properties, and optimal surgical resection margin, as well as promising prognostic biomarkers. In this review, we summarize the data available in the literature regarding the surgical approach to patients with stage IA non-small-cell lung cancer studying all the aforementioned variables.

Keywords: segmentectomy, wedge resection, lung cancer, lobectomy, non-small-cell lung cancer, sublobar resection

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