Authors: Farjah F, Wood DE, Varghese TK Jr, Symons RG, Flum DR
Title: Trends in the operative management and outcomes of T4 lung cancer.
Journal: Ann Thorac Surg 86(2):368-74
Date: 2008 Aug
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study describes temporal trends and variables in the operative management and outcomes of patients with T4 lung tumors in the general community. METHODS: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results-Medicare data were used for a cohort study (1992 to 2002) of patients with stage IIIB lung cancer defined by T4 tumors. Patient characteristics, tumor size, nodal status, use of staging modalities, extent of resection, multi-modality therapy, and provider volume were examined. Follow-up death data were available through 2005. RESULTS: Among 13,077 cases of T4 lung tumors, 1177 patients (9%) underwent resection. Over time, use of mediastinoscopy (20%) did not change (p = 0.49); mediastinal lymphadenectomy increased from 10% to 29% (p < 0.001) and neoadjuvant therapy from 4% to 8% (p = 0.04). Five-year survival rates increased from 15% to 35% (p < 0.001). A higher hazard of death was associated with increasing age (hazard ratio [HR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.03), comorbidity index of 3 vs 0 (HR, 1.66; 95% CI 1.24 to 2.21), tumor size 3 cm or more (HR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.30 to 1.84), N2/N3 nodes (HR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.40 to 1.98), and sublobar resection (HR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.26 to 1.90). Mediastinal lymphadenectomy had a significantly lower hazard of death (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.95). Improvements in overall survival over time persisted after adjustment for these factors (p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Temporal changes in the operative management of T4 tumors coincided with improvements in long-term survival. Our findings corroborate prior work and practice guidelines supporting operative therapy for select patients with T4 lung cancer.