Prognostic Impact of a Ground-Glass Opacity Component in Clinical Stage IA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Apr 6;S0022-5223(20)30734-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.01.107. Online ahead of print.


Objective: We performed a validation study to confirm the prognostic importance of the presence of a ground-glass opacity component based on data of the Japan Clinical Oncology Group study, JCOG0201, which was a prospective observational study to predict the pathological noninvasiveness of clinical stage IA lung cancer in Japan.

Methods: Among the 811 patients registered in JCOG0201, 671 were confirmed eligible by study monitoring and a central review of computed tomography. Registered c-stage IA lung cancer was less than 30 mm in maximum tumor size, which was classified into a with ground-glass opacity group (pure ground-glass opacity and part-solid tumor) or solid group based on the status of a ground-glass opacity component. T staging was reassigned in accordance with the 8th edition of the TNM staging system. To validate the prognostic impact, overall survival was estimated.

Results: Of the cases, 432 (64%) were in the with ground-glass opacity group and 239 (36%) were in the solid group with a median follow-up time of 10.1 years. The 5-year overall survival was significantly different between the with ground-glass opacity group and solid group (95.1% vs 81.1%). The 5-year overall survival was excellent regardless of the solid component size in the with ground-glass opacity group (c-T1a or less: 97.2%, c-T1b: 93.4%, c-T1c: 91.7%). In contrast, prognostic impact of the tumor size was definitive in the solid group (c-T1a: 87.5%, c-T1b: 85.9%, c-T1c: 73.7%).

Conclusions: Favorable prognostic impact of the presence of a ground-glass opacity component was demonstrated in JCOG0201. The presence or absence of a ground-glass opacity should be considered as an important parameter in the next clinical T classification.

Keywords: clinical-T classification; ground-glass opacity; prognosis; pure-solid tumor.