Surgical procedures in the DANTE trial, a randomized study of lung cancer early detection with spiral computed tomography: comparative analysis in the screening and control arm

J Thorac Oncol. 2011 Feb;6(2):327-35. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e318200f523.


Background: The patient population derived from lung cancer screening programs with low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT) is different from the general population accessing thoracic surgical services.

Methods: Retrospective review of all surgical cases in the DANTE trial, a randomized study of lung cancer screening with LDCT. Patient characteristics, workup, procedures, resections for benign disease, complications, tumor features, and final outcomes have been analyzed in the LDCT and in the control arm.

Results: In the LDCT arm, 77 suspicious lesions were surgically managed in 72 patients. A benign lesion was diagnosed in 17 cases (22%). Major video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery resection was carried out in five lung cancer cases (7%) and segmentectomy in 11 (19%). Complete resection was achieved in 93%, and stage I rate was 73%. Two patients had a local recurrence after open lobectomy, and three had a resectable new primary. In the control group, 28 patients underwent 31 surgical procedures, in five cases (16%) for benign lesions. No major video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery resections were carried out. Resectability rate was 88%, and stage I rate was 52%. Five patients had a local recurrence and two had a second primary.

Conclusions: Surgery for benign lesions is a relevant issue in screening-derived patients. Local control may be achieved by minimally invasive techniques or segmentectomy; however, developing the necessary skills requires an effort by the surgical team. Long-term survivors have a noticeable chance of developing second primary cancers or resectable recurrences and may benefit from a second resection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed*