MINI: In this national analysis, thoracoscopic lobectomy was associated with shorter hospital stay and no significant difference in long-term survival when compared to open lobectomy for cT1-2N1M0 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These results suggest that thoracoscopic techniques are feasible in the treatment of stage II (cN1) NSCLC.OBJECTIVE: To compare outcomes after open versus thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy for clinical stage II (cN1) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).BACKGROUND: There have been no published studies evaluating the impact of a VATS approach to lobectomy for N1 NSCLC on short-term outcomes and survival.METHODS: Outcomes of patients with clinical T1-2, N1, M0 NSCLC who underwent lobectomy without induction therapy in the National Cancer Data Base (2010-2012) were evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling and propensity score-matched analysis.RESULTS: Median follow-up of 1559 lobectomies (1204 open and 355 VATS) was 43.2 months. The VATS approach was associated with a shorter median hospitalization (5 vs 6 d, P < 0.001) than the open approach. There were no significant differences between the VATS and open approach with regard to nodal upstaging (12.0% vs 10.5%, P = 0.41), 30-day mortality (2.3% vs 3.1%, P = 0.31), and overall survival (5-yr survival: 48.6% vs 48.7%, P = 0.76; multivariable-adjusted HR for VATS approach: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.90-1.30, P = 0.39). A propensity score-matched analysis of 334 open and 334 VATS patients who were well matched by 14 common prognostic covariates, including tumor size, and comorbidities, continued to show no significant differences in nodal upstaging, 30-day mortality, and 5-year survival between the VATS and open groups.CONCLUSION: In this national analysis, VATS lobectomy was used in the minority of N1 NSCLC cases but was associated with shorter hospitalization and similar nodal upstaging rates, 30-day mortality, and long-term survival when compared to open lobectomy. These findings suggest thoracoscopic techniques are feasible for the treatment of stage II (cN1) NSCLC.
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