Influence of Age and IB Status After Resection of Node-Negative Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

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Anatomic segmentectomy has been proposed as a reasonable alternative to lobectomy in the management of small early-stage non-small cell lung cancers. We reviewed our outcomes with anatomic segmentectomy versus lobectomy for stages IA and IB non-small cell lung cancer stratified by age and stage.


We conducted a retrospective review of prospectively-collected data analyzing outcomes after anatomic segmentectomy (n = 305) for stage IA (n = 187) or IB (n = 118) NSCLC from 1999 to 2010. Lobectomy was performed in 594 patients for stage IA (n = 290) and IB (n = 304) disease during the same period. Surgical approach was stratified by stage and by the following age groups: less than 70, 70 to 79, and 80 or greater. Primary outcome variables included complications, mortality, recurrence patterns, and survival. Mean follow-up was 37 months.


Segmentectomy was associated with reduced complications (43.6% vs 58.7%) and mortality (0% vs 7.8%) in patients greater than 80 years old, without a difference in recurrence rates. There was no difference in complications or mortality in the younger age groups. Freedom from recurrence was similar between segmentectomy and lobectomy for stage IA tumors across all age groups. A reduced recurrence-free survival was seen with segmentectomy for stage IB tumors, especially with visceral pleural invasion (median 22.7 vs 29.6 months), p = 0.048).


Segmentectomy appears to be a reasonable approach for early-stage NSCLC in patients 80 years of age or greater due to reduced morbidity and mortality with equivalent freedom from recurrence. Although equivalent survival was seen in all age groups for stage IA, these data further support the use of lobectomy for resection of stage IB tumors.

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