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Clinical Investigations: SURGERY |

Surgical Resection for Lung Cancer in the Octogenarian*

Jeffrey L. Port, MD; Michael Kent, MD; Robert J. Korst, MD, FCCP; Paul C. Lee, MD; Matthew A. Levin, BS; Douglas Flieder, MD; Nasser K. Altorki, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY.

Correspondence to: Nasser K. Altorki, MD, FCCP, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Suite M404, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 525 E 68th St, New York, NY 10021; e-mail: nkaltork@med.cornell.edu



Chest. 2004;126(3):733-738. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3.733
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Background: As the US population ages, clinicians are increasingly confronted with octogenarians with resectable non-small cell lung cancer. Earlier reports documented substantial risk for surgical resection in this age group.

Methods: We reviewed our surgical experience in octogenarians who underwent curative resection from 1990 to 2003.

Results: Sixty-one patients underwent resection: 46 lobectomies, 6 segmentectomies, 5 wedge resections, and 4 pneumonectomies. There was one perioperative death (1.6%). The overall complication rate was 38% with a major complication rate of 13%. The average postoperative length of stay was 7 days. Overall 5-year survival was 38%, and 82% for stage IA patients. Patients with more advanced disease had a significantly worse survival.

Conclusions: Appropriately selected octogenarians with early stage disease should be offered anatomic surgical resection for cure. These patients can anticipate a long-term survival, and should not be denied an operation on the basis of age alone.

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