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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Oct;5(10):1583-93.

Sublobar resection: a movement from the Lung Cancer Study Group.

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Department of Surgery, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.


The 1995 Lung Cancer Study Group consensus recommending lobectomy for stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has directed lung cancer resections since its publication. However, enhancements in imaging technology over the last decade have produced larger cohorts of patients presenting with localized, early-stage disease. Today, multislice computer tomography is widely available, capable of detecting NSCLC at smaller sizes, with improved spatial resolution, and is used in screening programs for high-risk individuals. Furthermore, the maturation of minimally invasive surgical resection (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) has reduced perioperative morbidity and mortality, improved postoperative lung function, and demonstrated equivalent oncologic effectiveness to open surgery. The mandatory use of lobectomy for patients with small stage IA NSCLC is now being challenged. Numerous single-institution trials have demonstrated that well-selected use of sublobar resection can afford comparable survival and recurrence rates to lobectomy, particularly in high-risk patients. Currently, a prospective, randomized multi-institutional phase III trial is being conducted by the Cancer and Lymphoma Group B (CALGB 140503) to determine whether patients with small (< or =2 cm) peripheral NSCLC tumors can safely undergo sublobar resection while maintaining rates of survival and recurrence that are comparable to lobectomy. This review summarizes the literature from the past 15 years to assist in applying those conclusions to future research innovation.

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