Radical en bloc resection for lung cancer invading the spine

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2002 Feb;123(2):271-9. doi: 10.1067/mtc.2002.119333.


Objective: We reviewed our 8-year experience with en bloc partial and total vertebrectomy for lung cancer invading the spine and report outcome and survival.

Methods: Nineteen patients with lung cancers involving the spine underwent en bloc resection. Eleven received induction treatment (chemotherapy, n = 5; chemoradiotherapy, n = 4; and radiation, n = 2). Pneumonectomy was performed in 3 patients, lobectomy in 13 patients, and wedge resection in 3 patients. Hemivertebrectomy was performed in 15 patients, and total vertebrectomy was performed in 4 patients. The median number of resected vertebral bodies was 3 (range, 1-4). Tumor stage was IIIB in 14 patients, IIIA in 1 patient, and IIB in 4 patients (hemivertebrectomy is performed in the case of T3 disease to obtain free margins). Surgical nodal status was N0 in 13 patients, N1 in 3 patients, N2 in 1 patient, and N3 (supraclavicular) in 2 patients. Complete macroscopic and microscopic resection was achieved in 15 (79%) patients.

Results: There was no immediate postoperative mortality. Morbidity was observed in 10 patients, including 4 (21%) complications related to the spinal surgery. The median hospital stay was 30 days. Seven patients were alive after a mean follow-up of 26 months (range, 7-74 months). The 1- and 5-year predicted survivals (updated) are 59% and 14%, respectively. Nine local recurrences were observed.

Conclusions: En bloc resection of chest tumors with vertebrectomy is technically demanding, and postoperative morbidity should be critically addressed with this aggressive surgical intervention. However, an encouraging long-term survival observed in this series suggests that en bloc resection could be a valid option in selected patients with vertebral involvement of chest tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Survival Rate
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Time Factors