Pulmonary resection for lung cancer with malignant pleural disease first detected at thoracotomy

Tatsuro Okamoto, Takekazu Iwata, Teruaki Mizobuchi, Hidehisa Hoshino, Yasumitsu Moriya, Shigetoshi Yoshida, Ichiro Yoshino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The prognosis of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with malignant pleural disease (MPD), characterized by malignant pleural effusion and/or malignant pleural nodules, is reported to be poor, and patients with MPD are generally not subjected to surgery. However, whether or not the primary tumor should be resected, when MPD is first detected at thoracotomy, is controversial. Methods: The clinical records of 1623 consecutive NSCLC patients, who underwent surgery between 1990 and 2007, were retrospectively reviewed. A hundred patients (6.2%) were classified with pathological stage IV disease according to the seventh edition of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) staging system. There were 73 patients with MPD, which included 32 with effusion without nodules (MPE) and 41 with nodules with or without effusion (MPN). Intra- or postoperative pleural chemotherapy was administered to 37 MPD patients. Results: The median survival time, the 3-year survival rate and the 5-year survival rate for MPD patients were 25.9 months, 41.4%, and 23.7%, respectively, which are better outcomes than those for M1b patients (8.7 months, 18% and 18%, respectively) (log-lank test: p=0.014). Among MPD patients, N0-1 disease was determined to be a favorable prognostic factor (p=0.01). MPD status (MPE or MPN) was not prognostically significant (p=0.40). MPE patients with N0-1 disease had a significantly better prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of 63.6% compared to MPE patients with N2-3 disease (p=0.003). Twenty-seven percent of MPN patients with N0-1 disease achieved 5-year survival, whereas none of the MPD patients with N2-3 disease survived longer than 5 years after surgery. Conclusions: The prognosis of patients with surgically detected MPD, who underwent resection, was better than that of M1b patients. MPE patients with N0-1 disease may be candidates for resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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