The beneficial effects of specialist thoracic surgery on the resection rate for non-small-cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer. 2004 Nov;46(2):227-32. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2004.03.010.


We aimed to evaluate the effect of the appointment of a dedicated specialist thoracic surgeon on surgical practice for lung cancer previously served by cardio-thoracic surgeons. Outcomes were compared for the 240 patients undergoing surgical resection for lung cancer in two distinct 3-year periods: Group A: 65 patients, 1994-1996 (pre-specialist); Group B: 175 patients, 1997-1999 (post-specialist). The changes implemented resulted in a significant increase in resection rate (from 12.2 to 23.4%, P < 0.001), operations in the elderly (over 75 years) and extended resections. There were no significant differences in stage distribution, in-hospital mortality or stage-specific survival after surgery. Lung cancer surgery provided by specialists within a multidisciplinary team resulted in increased surgical resection rates without compromising outcome. Our results strengthen the case for disease-specific specialists in the treatment of lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Medicine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Care Team
  • Professional Competence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Specialization*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thoracic Surgery / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome