Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2009 Mar;35(3):450-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2008.11.032. Epub 2009 Feb 1.

Chest wall resection for lung cancer: indications and techniques.

Author information

Hospital of Cologne, Lungenklinik, Ostmerheimer Str. 200, 51109 Köln, Germany.


Lung cancer invasion of the chest wall is not a common challenge and represents only about 5% of all patients resected for lung cancer. In T3N0M0 tumours, long-term survival reaches 40-50%, provided certain conditions are fulfilled. The number of explorative thoracotomies and the rate of non-radical resections might be high due to the local extension of an aggressive tumour. Mortality after resection is as high as for pneumonectomy. For historical and anatomical reasons, we have to divide the patients into two groups: infiltration of, and above, the second rib (Pancoast) and tumours located caudally to the second rib. We have to define the two entities. There is a problem concerning correct diagnosis: many tumours reach the chest wall. If the lung is not adherent to the parietal pleura, a standard lobectomy can be performed. However, in the case of adhesions, the differentiation between tumour invasion and inflammation may be difficult. We do not want to perform over-treatment since lung resection en bloc with the chest wall has a higher morbidity and mortality than lobectomy. But we have to avoid opening the tumour intraoperatively or perform a non-radical resection. Therefore, we need a preoperative diagnostic tool answering the question of extrapulmonary infiltration. In this context, we will discuss whether extrapleural lung resection is acceptable in the case of pleural invasion without chest wall involvement. The prognosis of patients with tumours invading the chest wall and mediastinal lymph node metastasis is worse. But patients with ipsilateral supraclavicular lymph node metastasis are not excluded. Thus, careful clinical investigations are necessary. To achieve complete resection, the surgeon should use anatomical knowledge to choose the best form of access to make radical resection more feasible. The problem of pain after thoracotomy is accentuated after chest wall resection, especially after paravertebral resection. The use of modern pain treatment is very important.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center