Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma: a clinicopathologic study and prognostic analysis of 51 cases

World J Surg Oncol. 2013 Oct 2;11:252. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-11-252.


Background: Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma is a diagnostically challenging group of tumors. It's a rare histologic subtype of non-small cell lung cancer.There are five subgroups of pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma, they are identified as pleomorphic carcinoma, spindle cell carcinoma, giant cell carcinoma, carcinosarcoma, and pulmonary blastoma. We explored the clinicopathologic features and prognostic factors of this tumor.

Methods: We analyzed retrospectively the clinicopathological data of 51 patients with pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma who were treated in the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital and Henan People Hospital from January 2005 to December 2012. The correlation between prognosis and age, sex, smoking history, tumor size, TNM staging, and treatment modality was analyzed by the statistical software SPSS 17.0. The survival analysis was conducted using the Kaplan-Meier method. The factors influencing survival were analyzed using univariate (Log-rank) and multivariate (Cox) models.

Results: The overall survival rates at 1, 2, 3 and 5 years were 45.5%, 35.8%, 28.2% and 20.1%, respectively. Cox univariate analyses revealed that age, tumor size, T stage, M stage, surgery or not, and postoperative chemotherapy or not, were prognostic factors. Cox multivariate analysis found that tumor size and M stage were independent prognostic factors for PSC.

Conclusions: Due to its rarity and the lack of large-scale clinical trial evidence, few studies about PSC have been reported, its clinical and pathological characteristics remain unclear, and its preoperative diagnosis and investigation of novel treatment approaches are imperative. In our study, the main factors affecting the prognosis of tumor size and M staging are the crucial prognostic factors for PSC. Surgical resection and postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy might result in better prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinosarcoma / mortality
  • Carcinosarcoma / pathology*
  • Carcinosarcoma / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate