Surgically Managed Clinical Stage IIIA-Clinical N2 Lung Cancer in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database.
BACKGROUND: The role of surgical resection in patients with clinical stage IIIA-N2 positive (cIIIA-N2) lung cancer is controversial, partly because of the variability in short- and long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to characterize the management of cIIIA-N2 lung cancer in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Database (STS-GTSD). METHODS: The STS-GTSD was queried for patients who underwent operations for cIIIA-N2 lung cancer between 2002 and 2012. A subset of patients aged older than 65 years was linked to Medicare data. RESULTS: Identified were 3,319 surgically managed, cIIIA-N2 patients, including 1,784 (54%) treated with upfront resection (treatment naïve upfront surgery group, and 1,535 (46%) with induction therapy. A positron emission tomography scan was documented in 93% of patients, and 51% of patients were coded in STS-GTSD as having undergone invasive mediastinal staging. Nodal overstaging (cN2→pN0/N1) was observed in 43% of upfront surgery patients. Lobectomy was performed in 69% of patients and pneumonectomy in 11%. Operative mortality was similar between patients treated with upfront surgery (1.9%) and induction therapy (2.5%, p = .2583). The unadjusted Kaplan-Meier estimate of 5-year survival of cIII-N2 patients treated with induction therapy then resection was 35%. CONCLUSIONS: STS surgeons achieve excellent short- and long-term results treating predominantly lobectomy-amenable cIIIA-N2 lung cancer. However, prevalent overstaging and abstention from induction therapy suggest "overcoding" of false positives on imaging or variable compliance with current guidelines for cIIIA-N2 lung cancer. Efforts are needed to improve clinical stage determination and guideline compliance in the GTSD for this cohort.
Boffa, D; Fernandez, FG; Kim, S; Kosinski, A; Onaitis, MW; Cowper, P; Jacobs, JP; Wright, CD; Putnam, JB; Furnary, AP
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