Feasibility of complete video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery following neoadjuvant therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Jun Huang, Xin Xu, Hanzhang Chen, Weiqiang Yin, Wenlong Shao, Xinguo Xiong, Jianxing He


Objective: To explore the feasibility of complete video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (c-VATS) following neoadjuvant therapy (chemotherapy, targeted therapy and radiotherapy, either alone or in combination) for the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: The clinical data of 43 NSCLC patients undergoing c-VATS following neoadjuvant therapy were retrospectively analyzed, including the preoperative functional indicators, staging, concurrent diseases, surgical techniques, operation time, number of lymph nodes dissected and postoperative drainage time and quantity, postoperative hospital stay, postoperative complications, and survival.
Results: From January 2006 to March 2012, a total of 43 patients with stage IIA-IIIB NSCLC were included in this study (IIIA: 27 cases, 62.8%; IIIB: 11 cases, 25.6%), including 32 males (74.4%) and 11 females (25.6%). Forty-two patients were operated successfully, 28 underwent pulmonary lobectomies (including 9 bronchial sleeve resections), 5 had double lobectomies, 5 had wedge resections, and 4 had total pneumonectomies. Seven patients were referred to undergo Hybrid VATS (7/42, 16.7%). The mean length of the operation was 160.48±16.52 min (range, 130-180 min); the intraoperative blood loss was 253.57±117.08 mL; the number of lymph nodes dissected was 16.88±10.93; the postoperative drainage time was 1-7 d (mean: 2.62±0.96 d); and the postoperative hospital stay was 3-7 d (mean: 5.45±1.30 d). The incidence of postoperative complications was 9.5% (4/42), and the perioperative mortality was 2.4% (1/42). The 1-, 2-, and 3-year overall survival rates were 94%, 79%, and 65%, respectively.
Conclusions: c-VATS following neoadjuvant therapy is safe and feasible for the treatment of locally advanced NSCLC.