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Multimodality Treatment of Malignant Superior Vena Caval Syndrome*

John R. Roberts, MD, FCCP; Raphael Bueno, MD, FCCP; David J. Sugarbaker, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

* From the Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery (Dr. Roberts), Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville, TN; and the Division of Thoracic Surgery (Drs. Bueno and Sugarbaker), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.



Chest. 1999;116(3):835-837. doi:10.1378/chest.116.3.835
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Malignant superior vena caval (SVC) syndrome due to non-small cell lung cancer is invariably fatal, with most therapy directed toward palliating the manifestations of the disease. A cure, by means of any modality, is unusual. We report a patient with SVC syndrome secondary to documented ipsilateral peritracheal nodal involvement (stage IIIB disease) who underwent neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and resection. At surgery, his superior vena cava was not involved and his tumor had been downstaged to stage I (T1 nanoseconds). He remains alive and free of disease 60 months after surgery. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy may be used to downstage malignant SVC syndrome to resectable lesions in good functional candidates.

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