Background: Clinically, some patients would have false-negative results in the diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with pleural dissemination, losing their chances of prolonged survival from surgery. Hence, this study aimed to clarify the benefit of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for NSCLC with malignant pleural dissemination that is detected during thoracoscopic lobectomy.
Methods: From July 2006, we started the application of RFA in combination with talc pleurodesis (R-TP) for pleural disseminated NSCLCs diagnosed by thoracoscopy. Patients who underwent TP alone (from December 30, 2005 to June 30, 2006) were retrospectively evaluated in compared with R-TP (from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008). Clinical features were collected and compared to identify the difference in clinical outcomes between R-TP and TP alone. After discharge (three months after surgery), tumor response to treatment was assessed, and follow-up results were recorded to determine the perioperative and mid-time survival difference between the two groups.
Results: In our study, the two groups were comparable in age, sex, performance status (PS) score, tumor location, and histological diagnosis. The incidence rate of intraoperative pleural dissemination was 5.98%, as diagnosed by video-assisted thoracoscopy. All the surgeries were completed without conversion to open thoracotomy. Except for the longer operation duration in the R-TP group (p < 0.001), there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of surgical features. Postoperatively, no mortality occurred in either group during hospital stay; however, two patients from the R-TP group developed complications (9.52%). The complete and partial remission rates in the R-TP group were 80% and 10%, respectively, and the stabilization rate was 10%. After the three-year follow-up, the overall survival (OS) rates of the R-TP and TP groups were 14.29% and 0%, respectively. The median survival and median tumor progression-free survival (PFS) periods were longer in the R-TP group than in the TP group (OS: 19 months versus 12.5 months, p = 0.045; PFS: 9.5 months versus 5.5 months, p = 0.028).
Conclusions: The introduction of RFA to TP offered survival benefits to pleural disseminated NSCLC patients, making it a potential alternative palliative treatment for local tumor. However, multicenter randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these findings.
BMC Surg. 2013;13(19) © 2013 BioMed Central, Ltd.
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