Background: T3 tumors can be divided into several subgroups. Surgical treatment of T3 tumors with chest wall invasion results in good survival. This study shows the results of resection of T3 non-small cell tumors located in the main bronchus or with invasion of mediastinal structures.
Methods: From 1977 through 1993, 108 patients underwent resection for primary non-small cell carcinomas located in the main bronchus or with invasion of mediastinal structures. A complete resection was performed in 70 patients (64.8%). Actuarial survival time was estimated and risk factors for late death were identified.
Results: Overall hospital mortality was 8.3%. All deaths followed pneumonectomy. Mean 5-year survival was 29% for all hospital survivors, 35% for patients with complete resection, and 18% for patients with incomplete resection (p = 0.03). In patients with complete resection, mean 5-year survival was 45% for N0 patients and 37% for N1 patients. There were no 5-year survivors in the group of N2 patients. The mean 5-year survival was greater (but not statistically significantly greater) in patients with tumors located in the main bronchus (40%) than in patients with tumors with invasion of mediastinal structures (25%) (p > 0.05). Histology, tumor spill, age, sex, and type of operative procedure were not significant prognostic factors.
Conclusions: Patients with tumors located in the main bronchus have a better survival than patients with invasion of the mediastinal structures. Pneumonectomy increases hospital mortality. Incompleteness of resection and mediastinal lymph node involvement influence survival significantly.