Surgically Treated Unsuspected N2-Positive NSCLC: Role of Extent and Location of Lymph Node Metastasis

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Abstract

Micro-Abstract:

The role of positive lymph node location in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and effects on survival was assessed. A total of 88 operated patients with unsuspected N2 disease or station 10 lymph nodes were included. No difference was found in survival between inferior positive mediastinal N2 node patients compared to multilevel N2 disease patients. The survival of patients with positive hilar disease was similar to the inferior mediastinal positive N2 group.

Background:

The role of surgery in the treatment of non–small-cell lung cancer that has spread to ipsilateral mediastinal or hilar lymph nodes (LNs) is controversial. We examined whether the location of LNs positive for non–small-cell lung cancer in mediastinum or hilum influences the survival of these patients.

Patients and Methods:

We reviewed data from 881 patients and analyzed those with unsuspected N2 disease or hilar (station 10) LNs. The patients were stratified into the following groups: group A, positive hilar Naruke 10; group B, superior mediastinal and aortic nodes (Naruke 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6); group C, inferior mediastinal nodes (Naruke 7, 8, and 9), and multilevel group D (2 or more positive N2 levels).

Results:

A total of 69 pN2 and 19 pN1 patients were included. Progression-free survival (PFS) was statistically significant better in group B versus group C (P = .044) and group B versus group D (P = .0086). The overall survival (OS) of group A did not differ from that of group C. A statistically significant better OS was found between groups B and D (P = .051).

Conclusion:

Inferior positive mediastinal N2 node patients seem to have an OS and PFS as poor as multilevel N2 disease patients. The OS and PFS of patients with positive hilar disease are similar to those in the inferior mediastinal positive N2 group. Superior positive mediastinal N2 node patients have better OS and PFS than the inferior mediastinal positive N2 group.

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