Sleeve lobectomy produces longer survival than pneumonectomy in patients with lung cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (2010;5(4):517-20).

According to study’s authors, when first introduced, sleeve lobectomy was offered as an alternative to patients unable to tolerate pneumonectomy because of compromised lung function. Because of the surgery’s complexity and concerns about incomplete resection, sleeve lobectomy’s role in management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remained limited.

Joon Suk Park, MD, of Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues reviewed data on 1,973 patients who had surgery for NSCLC; 294 underwent pneumonectomy and 168 had the sleeve procedure.

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For patients who underwent sleeve lobectomy, 3-year overall survival was 71.4%; it was 41.8% for patients in the pneumonectomy group. Moreover, 5-year overall survival was 58.4% with sleeve lobectomy and 32.1% for pneumonectomy.

“The results of recent studies suggest that the long-term survival after sleeve lobectomy is as favorable as that after pneumonectomy, with a lower mortality and better quality of life, mainly due to the preservation of lung function,” the authors wrote. “In addition, local tumor control, which is a major concern with bronchoplasty, has been found to be acceptable.”