A Clinicopathological Study of Small Lung Adenocarcinoma 1 cm or Less in Size: Emphasis on Histological Subtypes Associated With Lymph Node Metastasis and Recurrence

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Background. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic significance of the newly proposed 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) lung adenocarcinoma classification for patients undergoing resection for small (≤1 cm) lung adenocarcinoma. We also investigated whether lobectomy offers prognostic advantage over limited resection for this category of tumors. Methods. A retrospective study of resected pulmonary adenocarcinomas (n = 83) in sizes 1 cm or less was carried out in which comprehensive histologic subtyping was assessed according to the 2015 WHO classification on all consecutive patients who underwent lobectomy or limited resection between 1998 and 2012. Correlation between clinicopathologic parameters and the difference in recurrence between lobectomy and limited resection group was evaluated. Results. Our data show that the proposed 2015 WHO classification identifies histological subsets of small lung adenocarcinomas with significant differences in prognosis. No recurrence was noted for patients with adenocarcinoma in situ and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma. Invasive adenocarcinomas displayed high heterogeneity and the presence of micropapillary component of 5% or greater in adenocarcinomas was significantly related to lymph node involvement and recurrence (P < .001). Stage IA patients who underwent limited resection had a higher risk of recurrence than did those treated by lobectomy (P < .05). Conclusions. Application of the 2015 WHO classification identifies patients with adenocarcinoma in situ and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma had excellent prognosis. Micropapillary pattern was associated with high risk of lymph node metastasis and recurrence.

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