Significance of spread through air spaces in early-stage lung adenocarcinomas undergoing limited resection

Gouji Toyokawa, Yuichi Yamada, Tetsuzo Tagawa, Yoshinao Oda

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In early-stage lung adenocarcinomas, spread through air spaces (STAS) are reported to be a prognostic factor in patients who have undergone sublobar resection, but not lobectomy. In contrast, reports have also shown that STAS is significantly associated with poor survival outcomes after lobectomy, but not after limited resection. Thus, the prognostic impact of STAS differs according to published reports. Methods: A total of 82 patients with early-stage adenocarcinomas who underwent limited resection and whose STAS status could be examined were enrolled in this retrospective study. We evaluated the association between STAS and clinicopathological characteristics and postoperative survival. Results: Among 82 patients, 31 (37.8%) were positive for STAS, while 51 (62.2%) were negative. STAS was significantly associated with advanced tumor stage (P < 0.01), lower histological differentiation (P = 0.01), and the presence of pleural invasion (P = 0.01). Patients with STAS had significantly shorter recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) than those without STAS (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively). According to multivariate analysis, positivity for STAS was an independent prognostic parameter for RFS (P < 0.01), but not OS (P = 0.45). Three patients who developed surgical margin recurrence and one patient who developed distant recurrence were all positive for STAS. Conclusions: STAS was predictive of poor postoperative survival in patients with early-stage adenocarcinomas treated with limited resection and was associated with surgical margin recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1261
Number of pages7
JournalThoracic Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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