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Med Oncol. 2011 Dec;28(4):1441-6. doi: 10.1007/s12032-010-9632-y. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

A clinicopathological study of resected non-small cell lung cancers 2 cm or less in diameter: a prognostic assessment.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, No. 241, West Huaihai Rd, 200030, Shanghai, China.


The detection and diagnosis of small-sized (2 cm or less) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has increased with the development of computed tomography (CT). Over 80% of 5-year survival rate has been reported in surgically treated peripheral lung cancer. There are systematic mediastinal and hilar lymph node involvement pleural invasion and intrapulmonary metastasis even with tumor diameter less than 2 cm. The appropriate surgical procedure for such kinds of lung cancer is lobectomy with mediastinal lymph node dissection. To evaluate the prognostic factors and establish the optimal surgical strategy, we analyzed the clinicopathologic features and survival benefit in different tumor size of peripheral small-sized NSCLC. Among the resected lung cancer cases between January 1999 and July 2001, 185 patients were retrospectively analyzed in surgical methods, lymph node involvement, CT scan findings and survival rates. Survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. Lymph node involvement was recognized in 26(14.05%) patients. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of lymph node involvement between tumors 1.6-2.0 cm (17.82%) in diameter than in those 1.0-1.5 cm (11.94%). There was no lymph node metastasis in tumors less than 1.0 cm in diameter. The 5-year survival rates with or without lymph node involvement were 89.98 and 46.15%, respectively, showing significant difference (P=0.000). The overall 5-year survival rate was 83.78%. The 5-year survival rate in tumors 1.6-2.0 cm, 1.0-1.5 cm and less than 1.0 cm in diameter was 80.20, 85.07 and 100%, respectively, and showing significant difference (P=0.035). The 5-year survival rate of 19 patients showing ground-glass opacity (GGO) on CT scan was 94.74% without any metastasis and recurrence after operation. There are systematic mediastinal and hilar lymph node involvement even with tumor diameter less than 2 cm. The results of the present study suggested that systematic lymph node dissection is necessary even for cases with tumor diameter less than 2 cm. However, if the tumor is within 1.0 cm in diameter with obvious GGO showing on chest CT scan, these are good candidates for partial resection without mediastinal lymph node dissection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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