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Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Jan;17(1):29-40.

Pneumonectomy with and without induction chemo-radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer: short and long-term results from a single centre.

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Division of General Thoracic Surgery, School of Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.



  Pneumonectomy for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after induction radio-chemotherapy (IT) has been associated with high peri-operative risk and its safety and efficacy is still debated. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare short and long-term results of pneumonectomy in patients treated with and without IT (radiotherapy plus chemotherapy) for NSCLC.


From 1995 to 2008, 85 consecutive patients underwent pneumonectomy: 49 received pre-operative radiotherapy and chemotherapy (IT group), and 36 patients did not (non-IT group). Peri-operative and long-term outcomes were compared.


Major complications rate was 14.3% for IT group and 16.7% for non-IT group (p = n.s.). Mortality rate was 2% in IT group and 5.5% in non-IT group (p = n.s.). Post-operative hospital stay was significantly longer in the IT group (p < 0.0001) as the need for blood transfusion (p = 0.002). Indeed, the mortality rate was similar in the left- and right-sided operations. 5 years survival was 45.3% for IT group and 38.4% for non-IT group (p = n.s.) and 5 year disease free survival rates were 42.3% vs. 37.8% for the two groups, respectively (p = n.s.). Among the clinical, surgical and pathological features no differences on long term outcomes were found with regards to IT.


Pneumonectomy is a feasible and safe procedure even after pre-operative IT. Our results showed a prolonged hospitalization and the need for blood transfusion in the IT group.

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