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High-Risk Lung Cancer Criteria Questioned

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 2:25pm
Crystal Phend

High-risk criteria in lung cancer haven't been picking out truly higher-risk patients and instead may be unnecessarily keeping some from more complete resection, a study suggested.

There was no difference in surgical complications, mortality, and final pathology between patients who met the major criteria -- lung function or diffusion capacity half of normal or worse -- to be considered "high risk" and those who didn't, Varun Puri, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues found.

But "high-risk" patients were less likely to get a full lobectomy rather than just sublobar resection than were patients classified as normal-risk (60% versus 76%, P<0.0001), they reported here at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting.

"Deciding which patients are 'unsuitable for lobectomy' requires more information and judgment than routine lung function tests provide," Puri argued at the session.

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