The aim of the present study was to compare the oncological outcomes following lobectomy using either video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) or thoracotomy in clinical stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Short- and long-term data from 212 consecutive patients who underwent lobectomy for clinical stage I NSCLC via VATS or thoracotomy between February 2003 and July 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. The primary endpoints were mediastinal lymph node staging, disease-free survival time and overall survival time. A total of 212 lobectomies for clinical stage I NSCLC were performed, 123 by VATS and 89 by thoracotomy. Patients' demographic data, pathological stage and residual tumor were similar in the two groups. Reduced blood loss, less post-operative analgesia required and earlier hospital discharge were recorded for the VATS group, as compared with the thoracotomy group. The overall morbidity was similar in the two groups. However, the rate of major complications was higher following thoracotomy than following VATS. No 30-day mortality occurred subsequent to either thoracotomy or VATS lobectomy. The overall survival and disease-free survival times were comparable between the two groups. In the univariate analysis, the treatment approach was not associated with the overall five-year survival or the disease-free survival times. Multivariate Cox regression analysis of survival times revealed that significant predictors of shorter survival times were advanced pathological T3 stage, pathological N1 or N2 disease and poor cancer differentiation. In conclusion, it is reasonable to conclude from the present study that VATS lobectomy performed by specialist thoracic surgeons is safe and may achieve similar long-term survival times to the open surgery approach. However, further prospective randomized multi-center trials are warranted prior to incorporating VATS into clinical routine.
Liu, C., Li, Z., Bai, C., Wang, L., Shi, X., & Song, Y. (2015). Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and thoracotomy during lobectomy for clinical stage I non-small-cell lung cancer have equivalent oncological outcomes: A single-center experience of 212 consecutive resections. Oncology Letters, 9(3), 1364–1372. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2014.2804