Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery versus open lobectomy for stage I lung cancer: A meta-analysis of long-term outcomes

Exp Ther Med. 2012 May;3(5):886-892. doi: 10.3892/etm.2012.485. Epub 2012 Feb 13.


The present study aimed to evaluate the evidence comparing video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and open lobectomy for the treatment of stage I lung cancer using meta-analytical techniques. A literature search was undertaken until July 2011 to identify comparative studies evaluating survival rates, recurrence rates and complications. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated with either the fixed- or random-effects model. These studies included a total of 1,362 patients: 668 treated with VATS and 694 treated with open lobectomy. The overall survival was significantly higher in patients treated with VATS than with open thoracotomy (OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.44-2.78) at 5 years. However, there was no statistically significant difference in 1.3-year overall survival between the VATS and open lobectomy groups (OR=3.21, 95% CI 0.77-13.40; OR=0.91, 95% CI 0.49-1.70). The data did not demonstrate a significant difference in locoregional recurrence (OR=0.58, 95% CI 0.33-1.03) compared to the open lobectomy group, but suggested a reduced systemic recurrence rate (OR=0.52, 95% CI 0.23-0.82) and complications (OR=0.36, 95% CI 0.23-0.57) of VATS. VATS was superior to open lobectomy for the prognosis of stage I lung cancer. However, the findings have to be carefully interpreted due to the lower levels of evidence.