Background: Treatment of early superficial bronchogenic
carcinoma (ESBC) is under debate, and no consensus has been achieved.
Different therapeutic methods have been proposed, including surgical
resection and endoscopic methods.
Study objective: To
assess the efficacy of cryotherapy in patients with ESBC.
Patients and methods: Patients included in the study had
histologically proven ESBC after fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Cryotherapy
was performed through a rigid bronchoscope. Efficacy was assessed by
endoscopy with multiple biopsies 1 month after treatment and during the
follow-up period. Parameters studied were response to treatment,
adverse effects, and survival.
Results: We included 35
patients (34 men and 1 woman). The mean age was 61 ± 9 years.
Multiple locations of ESBC were observed in seven patients (20%).
Complete response rate at both 1 month and 1 year was 91% (32
patients). No severe adverse effects were noted. Local recurrence was
observed within 4 years in 10 patients (28%). A follow-up period of at
least 4 years was available in 22 patients; of them, 11 patients (50%)
were long-term survivors.
Conclusion: Our results
suggest that cryotherapy is an effective method of treatment in
patients with ESBC. Due to its relative tolerance compared to surgery,
cryotherapy could be proposed as a first-line therapy in this
population with high carcinogenic risk.