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Ann Thorac Surg. 2017 Oct;104(4):1131-1137. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2017.04.043. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Pulmonary Resection for Second Lung Cancer After Pneumonectomy: A Population-Based Study.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System, New York, New York.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System, New York, New York. Electronic address:



Pulmonary resection for a second lung cancer after pneumonectomy is generally considered to be at prohibitive risk. Using a population-based database, we examined treatment patterns and survival in patients who underwent pulmonary resection after pneumonectomy for lung cancer.


We queried the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database (1988-2012) to identify patients who underwent pneumonectomy and subsequently experienced contralateral non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify the factors associated with the receipt of surgical resection. Survival was estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method.


Of 13,370 patients who underwent pneumonectomy, 402 (3.0%) experienced subsequent contralateral NSCLC, and 170 (42%) met the selection criteria. Surgical resection was performed in 63 (37.1%) cases (sublobar n = 56, lobectomy, n = 7). Patients with stage I/II disease and tumor size 2 cm or smaller were more likely to undergo surgical procedures. The 1-month and 3-month mortality after resection was 11.1% (sublobar resection 10.7%, lobectomy 14.3%) and 12.7% (sublobar 12.5%, lobectomy 14.3%), respectively. The overall 1-year and 3-year survival after surgical resection was 79% and 54%, respectively. The patients who underwent sublobar resection had higher median overall survival than did those who underwent lobectomy (42 vs 18 months). Similarly, median survival after resection for metachronous tumors was higher than after resection for metastatic cancers (40 vs 28 months).


On the basis of our analysis of the SEER database, sublobar resection can be performed in selected patients with small tumors (≤2 cm) and early-stage disease (stage I/II). Although perioperative mortality is significant, the favorable 1-year and 3-year survival may justify the role of an additional procedure on the single lung.

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