Background: The aim of the study was to identify common prognostic factors in nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with N1 and N2 nodal involvement.
Methods: A retrospective review of NSCLC patients who underwent primary surgical resection without neoadjuvant chemotherapy was performed. In all, 280 patients were included in this study, and there were 132 patients with N1 disease (N1 group) and 148 patients with N2 disease (N2 group). The median follow-up period was 26 months, and complete follow-up was possible in 269 patients (96%).
Results: Lobectomy was performed in 194 patients (69%), bilobectomy was performed in 43 (15%), and pneumonectomy was performed in 43 (15%). Complete resection was possible in 273 patients (98%), and operative death occurred in 5 patients (2%). The overall and disease-free 5-year survival rates were 63% and 55%, respectively, in the N1 group, and 44% and 32%, respectively, in the N2 group (p < 0.05). The prognostic factors for overall survival in both the N1 and N2 groups were age and the number of metastatic nodal stations; however, N2 metastasis was not a significant prognostic factor in the multivariate analysis. The poor prognosis of the patients in the N2 group was due to the greater incidence of multiple node involvement in comparison with the N1 group (73% versus 15%; p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Multiple metastatic nodal stations was the common prognostic factor in resectable NSCLC patients with nodal metastasis, and mediastinal nodal involvement was associated with a higher chance of multiple-station metastasis in this study.