Patterns of failure in patients with resected stage I and II non-small-cell carcinoma of the lung. The Ludwig Lung Cancer Study Group

Ann Surg. 1987 Jan;205(1):67-71. doi: 10.1097/00000658-198701000-00012.


The pattern of failure was studied in 1012 patients with resected Stage I or II non-small-cell carcinoma of the lung. Initial intrathoracic failure (41%) was more common than initial extrathoracic failure (34%) even though a complete resection was the intent in all patients. The most frequent sites of initial failure were the bronchial resection line (16%) and the central nervous system (CNS) (15%). The site distribution of initial failure does not appear to depend on TNM stage or pattern of nodal involvement. Patients with poorly differentiated disease had a greater rate of initial extrathoracic failure (p less than 0.01), predominantly bone or CNS. Implications for therapy and future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium bovis / immunology
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Propionibacterium acnes / immunology