Pulmonary Sarcomatoid carcinoma: a surgical diagnosis and prognostic factors

Hanène Smadhi, Mohamed Sadok Boudaya, Mahdi Abdannadher, Hajer BenAbdelghaffar, Héla Kamoun, Aida Ayadi, Leila Fekih, Adel Marghli, Mohamed Lamine Megdiche
La Tunisie Médicale 2019, 97 (1): 128-132

INTRODUCTION: Pulmonary Sarcomatoid Carcinoma (PSC) is a rare group of tumors accounting for about 0.4% of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Five subtypes were described: pleomorphic carcinoma, spindle cell carcinoma, carcinosarcoma, giant cell carcinoma and pulmonary blastoma. The diagnosis is pathological but requires a good quality sampling of the tumor.

METHODS: On a series of 1582 patients operated on for lung cancer from 1992 to 2016, 43 patients were retrospectively identified as having been treated surgically for pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma.

RESULTS: The population consisted of 33 males and 10 females with mean age of 55 years. Imaging findings showed a peripheral mass in the majority of cases (n=29). Careful investigation failed to discover a primitive lesion elsewhere. Six patients received induction therapy for wall involvement. Lobectomy or bilobectomy was performed in 30 patients and pneumonectomy in 11 patients. A wedge resection was performed in one patient and an exploratory thoracotomy in another. In macroscopy, the mean tumor's size was 5.2 cm (1-17.5cm). The histologic diagnoses were: pleomorphic carcinoma (n=30), carcinosarcoma (n=5), spindle cell carcinoma (n=1), giant cell carcinoma (n=3) and blastoma (n=4). Two patients died within 1 month of surgical complications and 5 died of disease within 17 months. Adjuvant therapy was performed in 6 patients. Recurrence happened in 4 patients within 12 months after operation. Median survival for all patients was 8months.

CONCLUSIONS: Resection of primary pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma is associated with an acceptable survival rate if the resection is complete. The size of the tumor is the most important prognosis factor. Nevertheless, a carefully follow-up is essential.

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