Currently, surgery for lung cancer with curative intent consists of resection (removal) of the proper extent of lung parenchyma that bears the cancer lesion along with locoregional lymph nodes to assess possible cancer metastasis. Lobectomy, at least, is preferred with regard to the extent of parenchymal resection. The history of lung cancer surgery, which started around 1933 as pneumonectomy (resection of the entire lung on either side), can be characterized as an attempt to minimize the extent of parenchymal resection. In the early 1960s, pneumonectomy was replaced by lobectomy, which has long been respected as the standard surgical mode. However, the transition from lobectomy to a lesser resection, such as segmentectomy or wedge resection, was not recommended because of the results of a randomized trial performed by the North American Lung Cancer Study Group in the 1980s. As of now, the extent of parenchymal resection remains lobectomy, and lesser resection is indicated only for patients who have a compromised pulmonary reserve. Very recently, because of the advent of CT screening programs and improvements in imaging technology, fainter and smaller lung cancers are being discovered. For these smaller and earlier lung cancers, there is some uncertainty about whether lobectomy still should be indicated, as it is for larger tumors with a diameter of 3 cm or more. Therefore, several randomized trials are ongoing to compare lobectomy with lesser resections; endpoints are overall survival and postoperative pulmonary function. Until the results of these trials are available, lung cancer should still be removed by lobectomy rather than by limited resection, such as segmentectomy or wedge resection.
|American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting
|Published - 2017
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