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.