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Combined pulmonary and thoracic wall resection for stage III lung cancer.
  1. S S Shah,
  2. P Goldstraw
  1. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.


    BACKGROUND--Carcinoma of the lung with thoracic wall involvement constitutes stage III disease. The management of patients with this condition is complicated. However, improvement in perioperative care coupled with advances in surgical technique have enabled a more aggressive approach to the problem to be adopted. METHODS--A retrospective review was carried out of 58 patients (40 men) of mean age 63 years who underwent thoracotomy for lung cancer with chest wall invasion between 1980 and 1993. RESULTS--Chest wall resection was performed in 55 patients (94.8%); in three patients the discovery of N2 disease at operation precluded resection. The TNM status was T3N0M0 in 38 patients, T3N1M0 in 13, and T3N2M0 in seven. Squamous cell carcinoma was the commonest cell type (26 patients). Reconstruction of the chest wall was performed in 29 patients (Marlex mesh in six, Marlex-methacrylate in 22, myocutaneous flap in one patient). The morbidity and mortality were 22.4% and 3.4% respectively. Follow up was complete in 51 patients. Nineteen (37.2%) survived > or = 5 years. The absolute five year survival for N0 and N1 disease was 44.7% and 38.4%, respectively. No patients with N2 disease survived five years. CONCLUSIONS--In patients with carcinoma of the lung and chest wall invasion, combined pulmonary and thoracic wall resection offers the prospect of cure with minimal morbidity and mortality. The prognosis of patients with coexistent N2 disease remains poor.

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