Background: The safety of salvage lung resection after immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is not well understood. Methods: In this retrospective multicenter study, we reviewed perioperative morbidity and mortality rates in 11 patients (8 men, 3 women; median age 70 years) who underwent salvage lung resection for unresectable NSCLC after ICI therapy in the 4 years since 2017. Operative factors were also compared according to operating time (> 6 h, n = 7; < 6 h, n = 4). Results: The clinical stage at the time of diagnosis was IIIA in 2 patients, IIIB in 4, IVA in 2, and IVB in 3. Eight patients received pembrolizumab and 3 received durvalumab. Two patients received an ICI agent alone, 3 underwent chemoradiotherapy, and 6 received chemotherapy. Lobectomy was performed in 10 cases and bilobectomy in 1 case. All patients underwent complete resection. Median operating time was 429 (range 169–570) min with a median blood loss of 199 (range 10–5, 140) mL. The only intraoperative complication was damage to the pulmonary artery. The perioperative morbidity and mortality rates were 27% and 0%, respectively. The 90-day mortality rate was 9% (1 patient died of acute exacerbation of interstitial pneumonia). Patients in whom the operating time was > 6 h more frequently had lymph node metastasis at the time of initial diagnosis (100% vs 25%, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Salvage lung resection was tolerated after ICI therapy in these patients. Lymph node metastasis at the time of initial diagnosis might make salvage surgery difficult.
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Salvage surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine