History of limited resection for non-small cell lung cancer

Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Dec;11(6):356-62.


A retrospective study of limited resection for lung cancer in a large number of patients was first reported in the 1970s. The reported outcome of segmentectomy was comparable to that of standard lobectomy. The North American Lung Cancer Study Group (LCSG) performed a randomized controlled clinical trial to compare limited resection (segment or wedge) with lobectomy for T1N0 (stage IA) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the 1980s. The study revealed a significant excess of intrathoracic recurrence rate and a tendency to poorer survival in the limited resection group. Since then, limited resection has not been considered the standard operation for lung cancer. However, this situation is gradually changing, because the recent introduction of chest computed tomography (CT) to mass surveys has made peripherally located lung cancer detectable at the earliest stage. Several recent non-randomized studies of intentional limited resection from Japan demonstrated good outcomes comparable to those of lobectomy. Organ-sparing wedge resection without systematic dissection of lymph nodes may be suitable for some types of small lung cancers detected only by CT. Our meta-analysis of published data comparing survival rates after limited resection and lobectomy for stage I lung cancer revealed that limited resection was comparable to lobectomy. Further studies are necessary to define precise targets of intentional limited resection for lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / history*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / surgery
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Lung Neoplasms / history*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pneumonectomy / history*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic