Why Do Pathological Stage IA Lung Adenocarcinomas Vary from Prognosis?: A Clinicopathologic Study of 176 Patients with Pathological Stage IA Lung Adenocarcinoma Based on the IASLC/ATS/ERS Classification

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Patients with pathological stage IA adenocarcinoma (AC) have a variable prognosis, even if treated in the same way. The postoperative treatment of pathological stage IA patients is also controversial.


We identified 176 patients with pathological stage IA AC who had undergone a lobectomy and mediastinal lymph node dissection at the Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai, China, between 2000 and 2006. No patient had preoperative treatment. The histologic subtypes of all patients were classified according to the 2011 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)/American Thoracic Society (ATS)/European Respiratory Society (ERS) international multidisciplinary lung AC classification. Patients’ 5-year overall survival (OS) and 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) were calculated using Kaplan–Meier and Cox regression analyses.


One hundred seventy-six patients with pathological stage IA AC had an 86.6% 5-year OS and 74.6% 5-year DFS. The 10 patients with micropapillary predominant subtype had the lowest 5-year DFS (40.0%).The 12 patients with solid predominant with mucin production subtype had the lowest 5-year OS (66.7%). Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that sex and prognositic groups of the IASLC/ATS/ERS histologic classification were significantly associated with 5-year DFS of pathological stage IA AC.


Our study revealed that sex was an independent prognostic factor of pathological stage IA AC. The IASLC/ATS/ERS classification of lung AC identifies histologic categories with prognostic differences that could be helpful in clinical therapy.

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