In elderly patients with lung cancer is resection justified in terms of morbidity, mortality and residual quality of life?

Anthony Chambers, Tom Routledge, John Pilling, Marco Scarci*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: In [patients over 70 years of age with lung cancer] is [lung resection] when compared with [non-surgical treatment] justified in terms of [postoperative morbidity, mortality and quality of life]? Altogether more than 297 papers were found using the reported search, of which 12 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are tabulated. We conclude that patients over 70 years of age undergoing anatomical lung resection respond as well as younger patients in terms of morbidity, mortality and residual quality of life (QoL). Collective analysis of the papers reveals no significant difference in five-year survival rates following surgery for early stage disease (stage I non-small cell lung cancer: 70 years; 59-78%), although, elderly patients currently receive far higher rates of palliative care (30-47% in patients 65-70 years vs. 8% in patients under 65 years). Additionally, 30-day mortality rates (5.7% 70 years), length of hospital stay [1.3 days vs. 1 day (video-assisted mini-thoracotomy) and 4.6 vs. 4.9-5.2 days (thoracotomy) for 70 years, respectively] and postoperative lung function tests (FEV decrease; 13% 70 years P=0.34, functional vital capacity decrease; 9% 70 years P=0.31) are equivalent between the two age groups. Residual QoL following lobectomy (evaluated by patient self-assessment) showed decreased social (P70 years 17.6 +/- 22.9). Pneumonectomy showed statistically significant decreases in physical functioning [six months postoperatively (MPO) P=0.045], role functioning (3 MPO P=0.035), social functioning (6 MPO P=0.006, 12 MPO P=0.001) and general pain (6 MPO P=0.037), but showed no age related differences (70 years; 78.0 +/- 22.8).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1015-1021
    Number of pages7
    JournalInteractive Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery
    Volume10
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

    Keywords

    • Pulmonary surgical procedures
    • Pneumonectomy
    • Mortality
    • Survival
    • Quality of life

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