Survival following resection of clinically occult N2 non small cell lung cancer

R. Dalton, S. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background. The role of resection in Stage IIIA (N2) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains controversial despite reported survival rates of 25-40%. This study was undertaken to identify factors associated with a high risk of treatment failure after resection of clinically occult Stage IIIA (N2) NSCLC. Such prognostic factors may identify high risk patients as candidates for future clinical trials of multimodality lung cancer treatment and be important stratification factors in such trials. Methods. The clinical and pathological records of 32 patients with clinical NO pathologic N2 NSCLC who underwent lobectomy (n = 17), pneumonectomy (n = 12), or bilobectomy (n = 3) and complete mediastinal lymph node dissection at Fox Chase Cancer Center from 1987 to 1991 were reviewed. A multivariate analysis of clinical and pathologic variables was performed. Results. Median follow-up was 15 months (range 5-55). Fifty-nine percent have recurred and 44% have died. Median disease free and overall survival were 16 and 19 months, respectively. Two year disease free and overall survival were 24% and 43%, respectively. No patient with more than one level of mediastinal lymph node metastases survived two years free of disease. Univariate and multivariate analysis revealed a longer disease free survival for those receiving adjuvant radiation therapy (19 vs 5 months) but no increase in overall survival. Conclusions. This experience with clinically occult Stage IIIA (N2) NSCLC suggests that multiple levels of mediastinal lymph node metastases predict treatment failure in patients following resection and that adjuvant mediastinal radiation improves disease free but not overall survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue numberSUPPL. 1-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994


  • Carcinoma, non-small cell lung
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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