Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze trends in a variety of prognostic factors for neuroendocrine lung carcinomas through analysis of 2 groups of surgically treated patients.
Patients and methods: Group A contained the first 361 patients, treated between 1980 and 1997. That group was analyzed retrospectively and contained 261 patients with typical carcinoid tumors, 43 with atypical carcinoid tumors, 22 with large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, and 35 with small-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. Group B contained 404 patients enrolled prospectively between 1998 and 2002: 308 with typical carcinoid tumors, 49 with atypical carcinoid tumors, 18 with large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, and 29 with small-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. The following clinical variables were considered: sex, mean age, tumor site, tumor size, lymph node involvement, stage, metastasis, and local recurrence. The 1997 TNM classification was used for staging of lung cancer and survival analysis was performed along with assessment of factors influencing survival. Statistical analysis of the data involved univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: In both groups, significant differences were observed between patients with typical and atypical carcinoid tumors in terms of mean age, tumor size, node involvement, and recurrence. In group A, female sex, node involvement, and recurrence differed between patients with atypical carcinoid tumors and those with large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma; the same was true for group B, with the exception of lymph node involvement. Node involvement differed between patients with small-cell versus large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma in group A but not group B. Both groups displayed significant differences in overall survival and survival of patients with lymph node involvement between patients with typical and atypical carcinoid tumors and between patients with atypical carcinoid tumors and those with large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma; no differences were observed between patients with large-cell versus small-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. Histological type and lymph node involvement had the greatest influence on prognosis in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: A well-defined trend is observed in prognostic factors for neuroendocrine lung tumors. Histological type and lymph node involvement show the greatest influence on survival.