Article Abstract

Decrease in performance status after lobectomy mean poor prognosis in elderly lung cancer patients

Authors: Yo Kawaguchi, Jun Hanaoka, Yasuhiko Oshio, Masayuki Hashimoto, Tomoyuki Igarashi, Yoko Kataoka, Ryosuke Kaku, Yuki Namura, Akira Akazawa


Background: Surgery remains the best treatment for obtaining cure in patients with resectable lung cancer, regardless of age. In elderly patients, however, the presumed fear of decreased performance status (PS) after lobectomy has resulted in the delivery of sub-optimal cancer surgery. Surgical decision making for such patients would become easier if post-lobectomy survival benefits and changes in PS were well defined.
Methods: We reviewed patients aged 75 years or older who received lobectomy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at our hospital between January 2004 and December 2014. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS was preoperatively and postoperatively assessed in 137 patients. Patients were classified into 2 groups based on the change in PS: in Group 1, postoperative and preoperative PS were the same; in group 2, postoperative PS was less than preoperative PS. We compared the characteristics of patients in groups 1 and 2.
Results: Overall 5-year survival was 47.4% in group 1 and 0% in group 2 (P<0.001). History of cardiac ischemia (P=0.001) and squamous cell carcinoma (P=0.015) were identified as significant predictors of reduced postoperative PS.
Conclusions: Our results show that maintenance of PS after lobectomy is expected to be associated with a good prognosis. However, reduction of PS after lobectomy indicates an extremely poor prognosis in elderly patients with lung cancer. History of cardiac ischemia and squamous cell carcinoma are possible risk factors for decreasing PS. Thus, careful patient evaluation and selection are needed when deciding whether to use lobectomy in clinical practice.