Pulmonary resection after high-dose and low-dose chest irradiation

Academic Article


  • Background. The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of pulmonary resection after low and high dose neoadjuvant radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy. Patients and Methods. A retrospective cohort study using an electronic prospective database from January 1998 to August 2004. All patients had N2, stage IIIa, nonsmall cell lung cancer, and received neoadjuvant carboplatinum-based chemotherapy with similar doses. In addition, some patients received high-dose chest radiation (HD) equal to or greater than 60 Gy and were compared with those who received low-dose radiation (LD) less than 60 Gy. All bronchial stumps were buttressed with an intercostal muscle. Results. There were 104 patients, 50 in the LD group and 54 patients in the HD group. Median dose of radiation was 45 Gy (range 35-50.4) in the LD group and 60 Gy (range 60-66.7) in the HD group. Complete pathologic response rate was 10% compared to 28% favoring the HD group (p = 0.04). Median length of stay for both groups was 4 days and the ICU was avoided in 74%. Major morbidity and mortality rates were similar: 8% compared to 9% and 2% compared to 3.7% for the low and high dose groups, respectively. Pneumonectomy was a significant risk factor for morbidity (OR = 17.0). Conclusions. Pulmonary resection after preoperative chest radiation is safe even after 60 Gy or higher. Sixty or higher may afford an increase in complete pathologic response and it does not seem to increase morbidity or mortality. However, if pneumonectomy is known to be required we prefer to avoid neoadjuvant radiotherapy and use chemotherapy alone. © 2005 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cerfolio RJ; Bryant AS; Spencer SA; Bartolucci AA
  • Start Page

  • 1224
  • End Page

  • 1230
  • Volume

  • 80
  • Issue

  • 4