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Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Oct;88(4):1106-11. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.06.051.

Limited resection for noninvasive bronchioloalveolar carcinoma diagnosed by intraoperative pathologic examination.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery and Pathology, Japanese Red Cross Nagaoka Hospital, Niigata, Japan.



The establishment of limited resection procedures for non-small cell lung cancer is expected. Many groups have suggested noninvasive bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) to be a potential indication for limited resection.


We designed a prospective phase II study evaluating limited resection for noninvasive BAC diagnosed by intraoperative pathologic examination. From 1999 to 2007, limited resection was the procedure in 46 patients (16 men and 30 women; median age, 69 years; range, 49 to 83) who were diagnosed intraoperatively as having noninvasive BAC. The first end point was the predictive value of the intraoperative pathologic examination for noninvasive BAC diagnosis. The second end point was overall survival, disease-free survival, and cancer-specific survival, calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.


We performed wedge resections for 44 patients and segmentectomy for 2 patients. Permanent pathologic examination revealed 3 patients had primary lung adenocarcinomas other than noninvasive BAC. The predictive value of intraoperative pathologic examination for noninvasive BAC diagnosis was 94%. During a median 51-month follow-up, there were only 2 cancer unrelated deaths. The 5-year overall survival rate and the disease-free survival rate were 93%, and the 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was 100%.


The results of our prospective phase II study indicate that limited resection, mainly by wedge resection, is a potentially curative surgical procedure and may be an acceptable alternative to lobectomy for patients with noninvasive BAC. Furthermore, an intraoperative pathologic diagnosis of noninvasive BAC is strongly predictive and allows for an intraoperative decision to perform a limited resection in these patients.

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