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Ann Thorac Surg. 1999 Apr;67(4):927-32.

Prognostic factors in clinical stage I non-small cell lung cancer.

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Division of Thoracic Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.



Management of patients with early-stage lung cancer but a poor prognosis is controversial.


Between January 1987 and December 1994, 365 patients with clinical stage I disease underwent surgical resection at our hospital. Eight preoperative clinical variables were entered into univariate and multivariate analyses to determine their impacts on 5-year survival.


The 3-year and 5-year survival rates were 78.1% and 66.5%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, clinical T2 status and preoperative high serum carcinoembryonic antigen levels were independent significant factors indicative of a poor prognosis (hazard ratio, 2.20 and 1.88, respectively). Patients with both of these factors had 3-year and 5-year survival rates of 65% and 38% (p<0.001), and the risk of death for this subgroup was 4.14 times greater than that of the overall clinical stage I population.


A subgroup with clinical T2 disease and preoperative high serum carcinoembryonic antigen levels had a significantly poorer prognosis among patients with clinical stage I lung cancer. For this subgroup, a complete preoperative staging workup and multimodal therapy, especially induction chemotherapy, instead of surgical intervention alone could be beneficial.

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