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Non-small cell lung carcinoma of the superior sulcus: Favorable outcomes of combined modality treatment in carefully selected patients

Department of Surgery, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Lung Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.74). 04/2008; 59(3):385-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2007.08.028
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The combination of radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy followed by surgery (trimodality treatment) is currently regarded as optimal treatment for non-small cell lung cancer of the superior sulcus (SST) or Pancoast tumour. The possibility to administer intensive combined modality treatment is influenced by tumour stage, comorbidity and performance status of these patients, and therefore a strict patient selection is necessary. This study focuses on patient selection and its results. We retrospectively evaluated choices of treatment and outcome of all patients with SST treated in the Netherlands Cancer Institute from 1994 to 2004. After identification of patients with SST in registration databases, the following characteristics were analyzed: symptoms, comorbidity, tumour stage, treatment characteristics, toxicity, local control, disease-free and overall survival. Fifty-two patients, 37 men and 15 women, were identified. They were diagnosed with stage IIB (27%), stage IIIA (8%), stage IIIB (42%) and stage IV (23%). Twelve patients after induction (chemo)radiotherapy underwent surgical resection. In eight patients a pathologic complete response was found. The 2- and 5-year survival after induction treatment and surgery was 75 and 39%, respectively. Other patients did not receive surgical treatment because of stage IV disease (n=12), comorbidity (n=8), irresectability (extensive tumour growth and/or persisting N2-3 status; n=14) or insufficient response to induction treatment (n=6). Eleven patients were treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy (5-year survival 20%) and 17 patients with (sequential) radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy (5-year survival 6%). Local recurrence rates were 0% after induction treatment and surgical resection, 32% after concurrent chemoradiotherapy and 72% after (sequential) radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. In conclusion, only 30% of M0 patients with SST were eligible for combined modality treatment followed by surgery. In this subgroup, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery was associated with excellent local control and acceptable survival.

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