History of Multiple Previous Malignancies Should Not Be a Contraindication to the Surgical Resection of Lung Cancer

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Abstract

Background

Patients with a history of previous malignancy are often encountered in a discussion of surgical resection of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The outcome of patients with 2 or more previous cancers remains unknown.

Methods

We performed a retrospective study including all patients undergoing resection for NSCLC from January 1980 to December 2009 at 2 French centers. We then compared the survival of patients without a history of another cancer (group 1), those with a history of a single malignancy (group 2), and those with a history of 2 or more previous malignancies (group 3).

Results

There were 5,846 patients: 4,603 (78%) in group 1, 1,147 (20%) in group 2, and 96 (2%) in group 3. The proportion of patients included in group 3 increased from 0.3% to 3% over 3 decades. Compared with groups 1 and 2, group 3 was associated with older age, a larger proportion of women, earlier tumor stage, less induction therapy, and fewer pneumonectomies. Despite this, postoperative complications and mortality were similar in groups 2 and 3, and higher than in group 1. Five-year survival rates were 44.6%, 35.1%, and 23.6% in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively (p < 0.000001 for comparison between 3 groups; p = 0.18 for comparison between groups 2 and 3). In multivariate analysis, male sex, higher T stage, higher N stage, incomplete resection, and study group were significant predictors of adverse prognosis.

Conclusions

Despite earlier diagnosis and acceptable long-term survival, patients operated on for NSCLC after 2 or 3 previous malignancies carried a worse prognosis than did those undergoing operation after 1 malignancy or if there was no previous diagnosis of cancer.

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