[Therapeutic and prognostic course in patients with suspected lung cancer. Results of combined thoracic surgery-pulmonary medicine evaluation].

Ugeskrift for laeger

PubMedID: 9458703

Ringbaek TJ, Borgeskov S, Lange P, Viskum K. [Therapeutic and prognostic course in patients with suspected lung cancer. Results of combined thoracic surgery-pulmonary medicine evaluation]. Ugeskr Laeg. 1998;160(2):170-5.
Survival of patients with lung cancer is poor in Denmark and worse than in the other Nordic countries. The study focuses on the treatment, the selection for operation, prognostic factors and the prognosis in lung cancer. During the years 1991-1993, 467 consecutive patients with pulmonary tumour suspicious lesions were prospectively followed at the Departments of Pulmonary Medicine and Thoracic Surgery, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen. Operation was performed in 83 (33%) of 252 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. More than 70% of the 169 non-operated patients were judged inoperable on the basis of a clinical examination and a chest x-ray. The initial estimation of operability, done by the chest physician, was able to predict 91% of the inoperable patients. Therapeutic delay (diagnosis-operation) was on average 26 days and 95% were operated within 60 days. Three-year survival for all the operated patients was 36%, while 62% were alive when they were judged radically operated. For stage I tumours, 51% were alive after three years, while all with stage IV tumours were dead. In the operated patients, lung function was positively related to survival (p = 0.013). Females had a better survival than males (p = 0.01 for operated, p = 0.02 for non-operated). Among 43 with small-cell lung cancer, 32 were treated with chemotherapy, and half of these were alive after one year. Preoperative histology in peripheral lesions is of value in preventing unnecessary operations without significant losses. Mediastinoscopy should be performed before operation. Registration of TNM stage and lung function should become standard in order to make comparison from country to country more valid.