Equivalent Survival Between Lobectomy and Segmentectomy for Clinical Stage IA Lung Cancer

Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Dec;110(6):1882-1891. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.01.020. Epub 2020 Feb 29.


Background: The oncologic efficacy of segmentectomy is controversial. We compared long-term survival in clinical stage IA (T1N0) Medicare patients undergoing lobectomy and segmentectomy in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons database.

Methods: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Database was linked to Medicare data in 14,286 lung cancer patients who underwent segmentectomy (n = 1654) or lobectomy (n = 12,632) for clinical stage IA disease from 2002 to 2015. Cox regression was used to create a long-term survival model. Patients were then propensity matched on demographic and clinical variables to derive matched pairs.

Results: In Cox modeling segmentectomy was associated with survival similar to lobectomy in the entire cohort (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 0.89-1.20; P = .64) and in the matched subcohort. A subanalysis restricted to the 2009 to 2015 population (n = 11,811), when T1a tumors were specified and positron emission tomography results and mediastinal staging procedures were accurately recorded in the database, also showed that segmentectomy and lobectomy continue to have similar survival (hazard ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.87-1.16). Subanalysis of the pathologic N0 patients demonstrated the same results.

Conclusions: Lobectomy and segmentectomy for early-stage lung cancer are equally effective treatments with similar survival. Surgeons from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons database appear to be selecting patients appropriately for sublobar procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Propensity Score
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Rate
  • United States