Morbidity and mortality after neoadjuvant therapy for lung cancer: the risks of right pneumonectomy.
BACKGROUND: The risks of complications in patients undergoing thoracotomy after neoadjuvant therapy for nonsmall cell lung cancer remain controversial. We reviewed our experience to define it further. METHODS: All patients undergoing thoracotomy after induction chemotherapy from 1993 through 1999 were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate methods for logistic regression model were used to identify predictors of adverse events. RESULTS: Induction chemotherapy included mitomycin, vinblastine, and cisplatin (179 patients), carboplatin and paclitaxel (152 patients), and other combinations (139 patients). Eighty-five patients (18%) received preoperative radiation. Operations were pneumonectomy (97 patients), lobectomy (297 patients), lesser resection (18 patients), and exploration only (58 patients). Total mortality was 7 of 297 (2.4%) and 11 of 97 (11.3%) for all lobectomies and pneumonectomies, respectively, but mortality was 11 of 46 (23.9%) for right pneumonectomy. Complications developed in 179 patients (38%). By multiple regression analysis, right pneumonectomy (p = 0.02), blood loss (p = 0.01), and forced expiratory volume in one second (percent predicted) (p = 0.01) predicted complications. No factor emerged to explain this high right pneumonectomy mortality rate. CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary resection after neoadjuvant therapy is associated with acceptable overall morbidity and mortality. However, right pneumonectomy is associated with a significantly increased risk and should be performed only in selected patients.