Objective: We sought to determine the variables influencing long-term survival of patients treated for bronchial carcinoid tumors.
Methods: A retrospective, mono-institutional review of patients subjected to surgical treatment since 1977 was conducted.
Results: Over 22 years, 126 patients with a final histologic diagnosis of bronchial carcinoid tumors were assessed for surgery. The group comprised 72 men (57%) and 54 women (43%) with a mean age at presentation of 47 +/- 16 years (range 11-77 years). Symptoms were present in 65 (53%) patients. Operations included lobectomy or bilobectomy in 88 (with 4 bronchoplastic procedures), pneumonectomy in 15, segmentectomy in 3, wedge resection in 16, and bronchial sleeve resection in 3 patients. One patient (0.7%) died in the perioperative period. Eighty-two patients (65%) had typical and 44 (35%) had atypical carcinoid tumors. Postoperative staging was complete for 113 of 126 patients (13 patients did not undergo lymphadenectomy): 90 patients had stage I disease, 6 had stage II, 15 had stage III, and 2 had stage IV disease. A typical subtype was stage I in 70 and more advanced (II-IV) in 5, whereas an atypical subtype was stage I in 20 and more advanced in 18 (P <.05). Mean follow-up was 99 +/- 73 months (range 6-282 months) during which 19 (15%) patients died (12 of recurrent disease). Recurrent tumor developed in 4 (5.5%) of 72 patients affected by typical subtypes and 8 (19.5%) of 41 by atypical subtypes with complete follow-up. Overall survival at 15 years was 74%; survival related to histologic type and nodal status at 15 years was significant (P <.05).
Conclusions: Biologic behavior and prognosis for bronchial carcinoid tumors are better than for other lung cancers. Surgical treatment requires radical excision and lymph node sampling. Survival and long-term outcome are significantly related to the histologic type, nodal status, and pathologic stage.