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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Jun;5(6 Suppl 2):S166-9. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181dcf920.

Thoracic lymphatic involvement in patients having pulmonary metastasectomy: incidence and the effect on prognosis.

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Thoracic Surgery Service, University Clinic Hospital, Valladolid, Spain.


Mediastinal and hilar lymph node involvement are rarely reported in the literature concerning pulmonary metastasectomy. The first problem is to determine with accuracy the incidence and location of thoracic lymph node involvement in patients with lung metastases. Determination of the impact on survival of this type of lymphatic spread may contribute to assessing whether metastatic nodal disease identified preoperatively is an absolute contraindication to metastasectomy. Systematic mediastinal lymph node dissection has revealed a statistically significant difference in survival between patients with lymph node involvement and those without lymph node metastases. Videomediastinoscopy to identify involved mediastinal lymph nodes can be safely performed and may have a role in a more accurate staging of the metastatic disease. The authors conclude that attention should be paid to ensuring that we do not operate on patients in whom we will leave behind diseases that we cannot reach. The discovery of mediastinal lymph node involvement may also influence decisions with respect to postresection adjuvant therapy.

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