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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2007 Jun 23;151(25):1406-11.

[Long-term results of the multidisciplinary surgical treatment of non-small-cell bronchial carcinoma in the superior sulcus (Pancoast tumour): a retrospective study].

[Article in Dutch]

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  • 1Erasmus MC, Daniel den Hoed, Groene Hilledijk 301, 3075 EA Rotterdam.



To establish the long-term results of a combination of radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy and surgery for the treatment of patients with a Pancoast tumour in the Erasmus MC-Daniel den Hoed, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with special attention for the prognostic factors.




During the period from 1 January 1991 to 31 December 2004, 36 patients underwent surgical treatment combined with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy for a non-small-cell bronchial carcinoma with invasion of the superior sulcus. The study was terminated on 31 January 2006. The data were analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle, with overall survival and disease-free survival as the outcome variables. Cox regression analysis revealed differences between the subgroups on the basis of which prognostic factors could be studied.


36 patients with a non-small-cell bronchial carcinoma invading the superior sulcus (Pancoast tumour) underwent multidisciplinary treatment consisting of pre-operative radiotherapy (since 2002 concomitant chemoradiotherapy), superior-sulcus resection and (partial) lung resection with intra-operative brachytherapy. 2 patients died postoperatively. In 80% of the patients there was a positive histological effect of the preoperative treatment. The median follow-up was 26 months. The 2-year overall and disease-free survival was 45 and 31%, respectively, and at 5 years this was 28 and 19%. These results were comparable with those for stage IIB lung cancer without invasion. Favourable prognostic factors were: at least 75% necrosis of the tumour after pre-treatment, lack of positive mediastinal lymph nodes, and younger age.

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