Nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a multifactorial disease, and differences in the characteristics of surgical patients may develop over the years. This study aimed to evaluate the patients who underwent curative surgical resection for NSCLC in the past 20 years at our center and analyze the changes in the treatment strategies based on demographics, surgical strategies, and histopathology.
In this retrospective single-center cohort study, 1995 patients who had undergone lobectomy, bilobectomy, or pneumonectomy for primary NSCLC from January 1997 to January 2017 were analyzed. Patients were divided into two groups: Group I included patients operated in the first 10 years and Group II included patients operated in the last 10 years.
Overall, 77% of patients were operated in the last 10 years (458 vs. 1537 patients). Sleeve lobectomies performed in Group II reduced the rate of pneumonectomy from 37% to 20% (p<0.001). The operation rates for adenocarcinomas increased significantly during the study period, increasing from 31.4% to 36.2% (p=0.049). The 30- and 90-day postoperative mortality rates were 4.6% and 8.5% in Group I and 4.1% and 5.7% in Group II, respectively (p=0.69 and p=0.037, respectively). When the groups were compared, the median and 5-year survival rates were 44.1 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 35.6-52.6) and 42.9% in Group I and 73.6 months (95% CI, 63.3-83.9) and 53.9% in Group II, respectively (p<0.001).
This study demonstrates an improvement in long-term outcomes following lung cancer surgery with an increasing rate of surgical procedures in the last 10 years. There was an increase in the proportion of females affected and the rate of adenocarcinoma. However, the pneumonectomy and postoperative N2 disease rates have decreased with advancing preoperative evaluation techniques and parenchyma-saving surgical methods. Postoperative mortality has decreased, and the survival rate has increased.