Transcervical Extended Mediastinal Lymphadenectomy: Experience From a North American Cancer Center

Sai Yendamuri, Athar Battoo, Grace Dy, Hongbin Chen, Jorge Gomez, Anurag K Singh, Mark Hennon, Chukwumere E Nwogu, Elisabeth U Dexter, Miriam Huang, Anthony Picone, Todd L Demmy
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2017, 104 (5): 1644-1649

BACKGROUND: Accurate staging of the mediastinum is a critical element of therapeutic decision making in non-small cell lung cancer. We sought to determine the utility of transcervical extended mediastinal lymphadenectomy (TEMLA) in staging non-small cell lung cancer for large central tumors and after induction therapy.

METHODS: A retrospective record review was performed of all patients who underwent TEMLA at our institution from 2010 to 2015. Clinical stage as assessed by positron emission tomography integrated with computed tomography (PET-CT), stage as assessed by TEMLA, final pathologic stage, lymph node yield, and clinical characteristics of tumors were assessed along with TEMLA-related perioperative morbidity. Accuracy of staging by TEMLA for restaging the mediastinum after neoadjuvant therapy was compared with that of PET-CT.

RESULTS: Of 164 patients who underwent TEMLA, 157 (95.7%) were completed successfully. Combined surgical resection along with TEMLA was performed in 138 of these patients, with 131 (94.2%) undergoing a video-assisted thoracoscopic resection. The recurrent laryngeal nerve injury rate was 6.7%. TEMLA was performed in 118 of 164 patients for restaging after neoadjuvant therapy, and 101 of these patients were also restaged by PET-CT. Based on TEMLA, 7 patients did not go on to have resection. Of the 101 patients who did have a resection, TEMLA was more accurate than PET-CT in staging the mediastinum (95% vs 73%, p < 0.0001). However, the pneumonia rate in this subgroup of patients was 13%.

CONCLUSIONS: TEMLA is a safe procedure and superior to PET-CT for restaging of the mediastinum after neoadjuvant therapy for non-small cell lung cancer. However, this increased accuracy comes with a high postoperative pneumonia rate.

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