Cryotherapy in early superficial bronchogenic carcinoma

Chest. 2001 Jul;120(1):26-31. doi: 10.1378/chest.120.1.26.


Background: Treatment of early superficial bronchogenic carcinoma (ESBC) is under debate, and no consensus has been achieved. Different therapeutic methods have been proposed, including surgical resection and endoscopic methods.

Study objective: To assess the efficacy of cryotherapy in patients with ESBC.

Patients and methods: Patients included in the study had histologically proven ESBC after fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Cryotherapy was performed through a rigid bronchoscope. Efficacy was assessed by endoscopy with multiple biopsies 1 month after treatment and during the follow-up period. Parameters studied were response to treatment, adverse effects, and survival.

Results: We included 35 patients (34 men and 1 woman). The mean age was 61 +/- 9 years. Multiple locations of ESBC were observed in seven patients (20%). Complete response rate at both 1 month and 1 year was 91% (32 patients). No severe adverse effects were noted. Local recurrence was observed within 4 years in 10 patients (28%). A follow-up period of at least 4 years was available in 22 patients; of them, 11 patients (50%) were long-term survivors.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that cryotherapy is an effective method of treatment in patients with ESBC. Due to its relative tolerance compared to surgery, cryotherapy could be proposed as a first-line therapy in this population with high carcinogenic risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / therapy*
  • Cryotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Survival Rate