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Changes in the treatment of Pancoast tumors

Frank C Detterbeck
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2003, 75 (6): 1990-7
Our understanding of superior sulcus tumors has evolved over time. The unique feature of Pancoast tumors is their location, in which the anatomy poses limitations to resection. Many resections are found to be incomplete, and the majority of recurrences have involved local failure. New surgical approaches allow greater flexibility according to tumor location and may improve these outcomes. Furthermore, new approaches permit complete resection of tumors involving vertebral bodies or the neural foramina. Traditionally, preoperative radiotherapy has been used, but a recent prospective phase II study suggests that preoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy improves the rate of complete resection, local recurrence, and intermediate-term survival.

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