Both the presence of a micropapillary component and the micropapillary predominant subtype predict poor prognosis after lung adenocarcinoma resection: a meta-analysis

J Cardiothorac Surg. 2020 Jun 29;15(1):154. doi: 10.1186/s13019-020-01199-8.


Objective: It has been confirmed that the micropapillary (MP) pattern is a poor prognostic factor after resection of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC), but the proportion of the MP component as a prognostic criterion is still controversial. Hence, a meta-analysis was performed to evaluate whether the presence of an MP component has equal prognostic power as the MP predominant subtype.

Methods: Literature retrieval was performed in the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases until December 23, 2019. Eligible studies were selected based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The included studies were divided into two subgroups, the MP component subgroup and the MP predominant subgroup, according to the proportion of the MP pattern to analyse the effect of this pattern on disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). The hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were extracted from each study. Review Manager 5.3 was used for statistical analyses.

Results: Finally, 10 studies, including a total of 4934 lung ADC patients, were included in this meta-analysis. Our results indicated a significantly worse pooled DFS (HR 1.62, 95% CI 1.20-2.21) and OS (HR 1.53, 95% CI 1.19-1.96) in the subgroup of MP predominant subtype patients. The pooled DFS (HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.45-2.85) and OS (HR 2.26, 95% CI 1.46-3.52) were also poor in the subgroup of patients with the presence of an MP component.

Conclusions: Both the presence of an MP component and the MP predominant subtype are related to poor DFS and OS after lung ADC resection and represent adverse prognostic factor for lung ADC patients. However, there are some limitations in this meta-analysis, and quantitative stratification based on the proportion of the MP component is needed to explore its effect on prognosis of lung ADC patients in the future.

Keywords: Lung adenocarcinoma; Meta-analysis; Micropapillary predominant subtype; Presence of micropapillary component; Prognosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / surgery*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models