What is the role of wedge resection/segmentectomy in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Sublobar resections are used for patients with poor pulmonary reserve and are increasingly being used in conjunction with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). An older Lung Cancer Study Group trial, of stage IA cancers randomized to standard lobectomy versus sublobar resections, suggested a much higher local recurrence rate (75%), with a near-significant trend towards an increased cancer-specific mortality of 50%. [86]

However, a review of SEER data from 1988-2008 found that the survival benefit of lobectomy over sublobar resection for stage I NSCLCs ≤ 2 cm in size decreased over that time. By 2005-2008, both wedge resections and segmentectomies were equivalent to lobectomy. [87] A Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) phase III trial randomizing patients to lobectomy or limited resection for small peripheral IA lesions is ongoing, and should provide more clarity in this area. [86]

In patients older than 74 years with stage IA NSCLC, Okami et al found no significant difference in 5-year survival after sublobar resection versus standard lobectomy, although locoregional recurrence rates were higher after sublobar resection. [88] A study by Wolf et al showed that sublobar resection is a reasonable option for elderly patients with compromised cardiopulmonary status. [89]

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