Background: Video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy (VATS-L) is a well-established approach for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with functional and oncological outcomes similar to thoracotomy. The role of VATS-L in locally advanced stage of NSCLC has not been well standardized. The objective of this study was to evaluate the state of the art in Italy of VATS-L for NSCLC advanced stages using the data from the Italian VATS Group Database.
Methods: Between 1st January 2014 and 31th May 2017, 3,720 patients underwent VATS-L at VATS Group participating centres and included in the VATS Group database. Patients were divided into two groups: (A) early stages and (B) locally-advanced stages (tumours with dimension >5 cm (cT2b), cT3, cT4 and/or tumours that received neo-adjuvant chemotherapy). A retrospective study was performed, to evaluate the safety and the oncological adequacy of VATS-L comparing peri-operative outcomes and pathological data.
Results: A total of 3,266 (87.7%) patients were included into the group A, while 454 (13.3%) patients formed the group B. VATS-L for locally advanced-stage NSCLC is associated with a longer procedure, a higher estimated blood loss, an increased incidence of conversion (9.3% vs. 13.0%, P=0.018) and a significant higher number of total, hilar and mediastinal dissected lymph nodes. The mortality rate (1.6% vs. 1.5%), the proportion of patients who suffered any complication (24.8% vs. 29.1%) and the hospitalization were not statistically different between the two groups (P=0.880, 0.057 and 0.660, respectively); the overall complication rate was statistically higher in group B (30.4% vs. 37.0%; P=0.04). Patients of group B who required conversion had a statistically significantly higher operative time (P<0.01), blood loss (P<0.01) and hospital stay (P<0.01), but not significantly higher overall morbidity rate (35.5% vs. 28.0%) compared with patients completely operated by VATS.
Conclusions: VATS-L for locally advanced-stage NSCLC in Italy is a safe and effective procedure when performed in appropriately selected patients, ensuring peri-operative results similar to those obtained in early-stage tumours.
- Journal Article