The clinicopathological features associated with skip N2 metastases in patients with clinical stage IA non-small-cell lung cancer.
BACKGROUND Some patients with resected pN2 lung carcinoma were long term survivors. To determine appropriate therapeutic modalities for the selected patients, the clinicopathologic characteristics of these patients were examined using the actual number of survivors rather than the cumulative survival rate because the cumulative survival rate occasionally is confounded due to patients with short follow-up periods. METHODS Between 1981-1990, 178 patients with pN2 nonsmall cell lung carcinoma underwent complete resection with systemic lymph node dissection. The ratios of 5-year survivors to all patients in groups with several clinicopathologic factors were compared. RESULTS Gender, the side that was operated on, location of the tumor, histologic type, or surgical procedure were not related to the ratio of 5-year survivors. However, T classification, skip metastasis, and the number of levels involved were associated with the ratio significantly. The authors also found that the location of the involved lymph node(s) affected the ratio. CONCLUSIONS Even in the presence of pN2 disease, lung carcinoma patients with T1 tumors, skip metastasis, or single level mediastinal lymph node involvement, especially Level 4, Level 5, or Level 6 lymph nodes, had a relatively favorable prognosis and may be candidates for primary resection.