Objective: Indications for surgical intervention for very limited small cell lung cancer have not yet been determined. The objective of this study is to determine whether resection followed by cisplatin and etoposide is feasible.
Methods: From September 1991 through December 1996, 62 patients with completely resected small cell lung cancer who were less than 76 years of age from 17 centers were entered in the trial. Of 62 patients, 61 were eligible, with a median follow-up of 65 months. Chemotherapy consisted of 4 cycles of cisplatin (100 mg/m 2 , day 1) and etoposide (100 mg/m 2 , days 1-3). There were 49 (80%) male patients, 44 with clinical stage I disease, 10 with stage II disease, and 6 with stage IIIa disease.
Results: Forty-two (69%) patients received 4 cycles of cisplatin and etoposide. No treatment-associated mortality was noted. Median survival time was not reached in patients with pathologic stage I disease, was 449 days in patients with stage II disease, and was 712 days in patients with stage IIIa disease. Three-year survival was 61% overall, 68% in patients with clinical stage I disease, 56% in patients with stage II disease, and 13% in patients with stage IIIa disease ( P = .02). Recurrence was noted in 26 (43%) patients overall. Local failure was noted in 6 (10%) patients. Locoregional recurrence tends to be found more frequently in patients with stage IIIA disease. Distant failure was found in 21 (34%) patients overall. Brain metastasis was found in 15% of the patients.
Conclusion: Major lung resection followed by postoperative cisplatin and etoposide is feasible, with a favorable survival profile. Because nodal metastasis appears to be a major prognostic factor, preoperative evaluation of nodal status remains a major concern.