The incidence of local failure and residual tumor after definitive chemoradiation therapy (dCRT) for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer remains high, irrespective of applied radiation dose (>59 Gy). So-called salvage surgery has been suggested as a feasible treatment option after failure of definitive chemoradiation for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Experience with salvage lung surgery (SLS) is limited, and long-term survival is rarely reported. Patient selection criteria for surgical lung salvage are not defined. The aim of this study was to assess postoperative survival and perioperative morbidity/mortality to identify prognostic factors and to define patient selection criteria.Patients and Methods
Records of 13 consecutive patients with locally advanced NSCLC, who underwent SLS at a single institution between March 2011 and November 2016, were reviewed. Descriptive statistics were applied for patient characteristics and surgical and oncological outcome. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and were compared with the long-rank test.Results
All patients initially received curative-intent definitive chemoradiation with median radiation doses of 66 Gy (range 59.4–72) and concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy. Clinical tumor stage before definitive chemoradiation was IIIA in 9, IIIB in 3, IV in 1 patients. Median interval between definitive chemoradiation and salvage surgery was 6.7 months. Perioperative morbidity and 30-days-mortality was 38% and 7.7%, respectively. The median postoperative survival and estimated 5-year survival rate were 29.7 months and 46%, respectively.Conclusion
SLS in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung surgery following dCRT is feasible, prolongs long-term survival and allows local tumor control. Selection criteria remain undefined and patients should be considered surgical candidates during multidisciplinary team conference.