Background: Although radioisotopic procedures are commonly used to detect sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer surgery, these procedures are often problematic and not necessarily suitable for lung cancer surgery. Methods: Our previous study revealed that the mediastinal sentinel lymph node, defined as the regional mediastinal lymph node, consisted of nodes 2, 3, or 4 in right upper lobe cancers; 3, 7, or 8 in right lower lobe cancers; 4, 5, or 7 in left upper lobe cancers; and 4, 7, or 8 in left lower lobe cancers. On the basis of these findings, we pathologically investigated one representative lymph node at each of the 3 levels dissected during surgical intervention in 69 patients with non-small cell lung cancer from September 1993 through December 2002. Fifty-eight patients with lung cancer underwent lobectomies with limited mediastinal lymph node dissection according to this strategy. Results: Mediastinal lymph node recurrence was observed in only one patient during 41 ± 25 months (maximum, 98 months) of follow-up. The cancer-specific 5-year survivals were 96.6% in patients with pathologic stage IA disease (n = 31) and 67.4% in patients with stage IB disease (n = 16). Conclusion: These results suggested that limited mediastinal lymph node dissection is applicable to patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose regional mediastinal lymph nodes are not metastatic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine