Malignant disease appearing late after operation for T1 N0 non-small-cell lung cancer

P. A. Thomas, L. Rubinstein, E. C. Holmes, S. Piantadosi, J. C. Ruckdeschel, P. Thomas, J. Deslauriers, F. L. Grover, L. D. Hill, R. Feld, R. Ginsberg, C. Mountain, R. Eagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Occurrences of malignancy in 308 patients who were clinically free of cancer 60 months or more after surgical treatment of T1 N0 non-small-cell lung cancer are summarized. At last report, 210 patients remained alive with no evidence of malignant disease, 43 patients died of nonmalignant causes, and 55 patients had 59 occurrences of malignant disease. Late lung cancer recurrence was observed in 22 patients (concurrent with nasopharyngeal cancer in one patient and with laryngeal cancer in one patient). Metachronous second lung cancer was noted in 20 patients (including concurrent colon cancer in one patient and metastatic recurrence in one patient). Other nonpulmonary malignant tumors appeared in 13 patients. Including second lung cancer, 25 cancers of aerodigestive epithelium were observed in 23 patients. The malignancy-free survival advantage for patients with squamous cancer observed until 60 months after resection was not sustained at 60 months and beyond. At the time of last follow-up, 84 patients (27%) had died; 43 were free of malignancy, and 41 had malignancy (14 patients were alive with malignancy and 210 with no evidence of disease). These data reinforce two conclusions: (1) The probability of lung cancer recurrence or appearance of new lung cancer 5 years or more after successful operation in this select subpopulation of patients with lung cancer is of concern. (2) The malignancy-free survival advantage of patients with squamous cancer disappears after 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1058
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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