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J Thorac Dis. 2014 Jun;6(6):641-8. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.05.17.

Is uniportal thoracoscopic surgery a feasible approach for advanced stages of non-small cell lung cancer?

Author information

1
1 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Coruña University Hospital, Coruña, Spain ; 2 Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI), Coruña, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Conventional video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy for advanced lung cancer is a feasible and safe surgery in experienced centers. The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of uniportal VATS approach in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and compare the perioperative outcomes and survival with those in early-stage tumors operated through the uniportal approach.

METHODS:

From June 2010 to December 2012, we performed 163 uniportal VATS major pulmonary resections. Only NSCLC cases were included in this study (130 cases). Patients were divided into two groups: (A) early stage and (B) advanced cases (>5 cm, T3 or T4, or tumors requiring neoadjuvant treatment). A descriptive and retrospective study was performed, comparing perioperative outcomes and survival obtained in both groups. A survival analysis was performed with Kaplan-Meier curves and the log-rank test was used to compare survival between patients with early and advanced stages.

RESULTS:

A total of 130 cases were included in the study: 87 (A) vs. 43 (B) patients (conversion rate 1.1 vs. 6.5%, P=0.119). Mean global age was 64.9 years and 73.8% were men. The patient demographic data was similar in both groups. Upper lobectomies (A, 52 vs. B, 21 patients) and anatomic segmentectomies (A, 4 vs. B, 0) were more frequent in group A while pneumonectomy was more frequent in B (A, 1 vs. B, 6 patients). Surgical time was longer (144.9±41.3 vs. 183.2±48.9, P<0.001), and median number of lymph nodes (14 vs. 16, P=0.004) were statistically higher in advanced cases. Median number of nodal stations (5 vs. 5, P=0.165), days of chest tube (2 vs. 2, P=0.098), HOS (3 vs. 3, P=0.072), and rate of complications (17.2% vs. 14%, P=0.075) were similar in both groups. One patient died on the 58th postoperative day. The 30-month survival rate was 90% for the early stage group and 74% for advanced cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

Uniportal VATS lobectomy for advanced cases of NSCLC is a safe and reliable procedure that provides perioperative outcomes similar to those obtained in early stage tumours operated through this same technique. Further long term survival analyses are ongoing on a large number of patients.

KEYWORDS:

Advanced lung cancer; minimally invasive surgery; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); thoracoscopy; uniportal; video-assisted thoracoscopic(VATS) lobectomy

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