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J BUON. 2006 Oct-Dec;11(4):447-56.

Combination of interventional pulmonology techniques (Nd:YAG laser resection and brachytherapy) with external beam radiotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer patients with Karnofsky Index < or =50.

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Institute for Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina, Sremska Kamenica, Clinic for Pulmonary Oncology, Department for Interventional Pulmonology, Medical Faculty, University of Novi Sad, Serbia.



To compare Nd: YAG laser resection with Nd: YAG laser plus brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) in the palliation of malignant central airway obstruction symptoms due to lung cancer.


In this prospective non-randomized study we evaluated the effects of Nd:YAG laser photoresection alone vs. Nd:YAG laser resection in combination with brachytherapy and EBRT on cough, dyspnoea, thoracic pain, haemoptysis, body weight loss, atelectasis, postobstructive pneumonia, endoscopic findings, disease-free period and survival rate in lung cancer patients. Only patients with Karnofsky index (KI) < or =50 were included. Sixty-four patients were divided into 2 groups: group I patients ( = 20) were treated only with Nd: YAG laser, and group II patients (n = 44) were treated with Nd: YAG laser followed by brachytherapy and EBRT.


Group I patients showed statistically significant improvement in all investigated parameters but cough. Group II patients achieved significant improvement in all investigated parameters. Comparative statistical analysis between the 2 groups revealed statistically significant improvement in group II with regard to dyspnoea, haemoptysis, KI and atelectasis. No significant improvement in group II was seen when other investigated parameters were considered. Disease-free period and survival rate were significantly longer in group II (p< or =0.0005).


The combination of interventional pulmonology procedures with standard modalities is the best option for the treatment of selected lung cancer patients.

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