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Rev Mal Respir. 2006 Sep;23(4 Suppl):13S73-85; quiz 13S157, 13S159.

[Evaluation of thoracic surgical practice. The impact of specialisation and the effect of volume on the results of cancer treatment: resectability, post-operative mortality, and long-term survival].

[Article in French]

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Service de chirurgie thoracique, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.



The impact of the volume of activity and the specialisation of the surgeon and the hospital on the quality of health care for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was evaluated from the publications over the last 20 years.


The statistics, based mainly on administrative data, identified a significant decrease in post operative mortality (5 out of 7 studies) and improved long-term survival (2 out of 3 studies) in establishments undertaking large numbers of lung resections. The threshold for defining high volume groups varied from study to study (from 28 to 128 procedures per year). The same tendency was seen among the surgeons where specialisation in thoracic surgery led to higher levels of resectability and parenchymal preservation.


These results should be interpreted with caution on account of the nature of the data and the methodology employed. A certification of referral centres, validated by the French Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgical Society, based on the training, level of activity in cancer surgery, and the infrastructure of the hospital should lead to a more even standard of care for patients with NSCLC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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