To maximize the benefits of computed tomographic screening for lung cancer, optimal treatment for small, early lung cancers is needed. Limiting the extent of surgery spares lung tissue, preserves pulmonary function, and decreases operative time, complications, and morbidities. It also increases the likelihood of resecting future new primary lung cancers. The goal is to assess alternative treatments in a timely manner.Methods:
The focus sessions with patients and physicians separately highlighted the need to consider their perceptions. Literature reviews and analyses of treatment results using large databases were performed to formulate critical questions about long-term treatment outcomes, recurrence, and quality of life of alternative treatments. Based on these analyses, the investigators developed a prospective multi-institutional cohort study, the Initiative for Early Lung Cancer Research for Treatment, to compare treatments for stage I NSCLC. HIPAA compliant institutional review board approval was obtained and we performed a feasibility study of the first 206 surgical patients.Results:
Lobectomy was performed in 89 (43.2%) patients, and sublobar resection was performed in 117 (56.7%) patients. Mediastinal lymph node resection was performed in 173 (84.0%) patients, 8 had N1 and 3 N2 lymph node metastases. Patients stated that both the surgeon's opinion (93%) and the patient's own opinion (93%) were extremely important, followed by the patients' view that the chosen procedure would provide the best quality of life (90%).Conclusions:
It was feasible to obtain pre- and postsurgical information from patients and surgeons. We anticipate statistically meaningful results about treatment alternatives in 3 to 5 years.