Survival and risk factors for progression after resection of the dominant tumor in multifocal, lepidic-type pulmonary adenocarcinoma

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Abstract

Background:

It remains unclear whether a dominant lung adenocarcinoma that presents with multifocal ground glass opacities (GGOs) should be treated by local therapy. We sought to address survival in this setting and to identify risk factors for progression of unresected GGOs.

Methods:

Retrospective review of 70 patients who underwent resection of a pN0, lepidic adenocarcinoma, who harbored at least 1 additional GGO. Features associated with GGO progression were determined using logistic regression and survival was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results:

Subjects harbored 1 to 7 GGOs beyond their dominant tumor (DT). Mean follow-up was 4.1 ± 2.8 years. At least 1 GGO progressed after DT resection in 21 patients (30%). In 11 patients (15.7%), this progression prompted resection (n = 5) or stereotactic radiotherapy (n = 6) at mean 2.8 ± 2.3 years. Several measures of the overall tumor burden were associated with GGO progression (all P values < .03) and with progression prompting intervention (all P values < .01). In logistic regression, greater DT size (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.14) and an initial GGO > 1 cm (odds ratio, 4.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.15–21.28) were the only factors independently associated with GGO progression. Survival was not negatively influenced by GGO progression (100% with vs 80.7% without; P = .1) or by progression-prompting intervention (P = .4).

Conclusions:

At 4.1-year mean follow-up, 15.7% of patients with unresected GGOs after resection of a pN0 DT underwent subsequent intervention for a progressing GGO. Some features correlated with GGO growth, but neither growth, nor need for an intervention, negatively influenced survival. Thus, even those at highest risk for GGO progression should not be denied resection of a DT.

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