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Study suggests pattern in lung cancer pathology may predict cancer recurrence after surgery
Date:8/7/2013

NEW YORK, AUGUST 7, 2013 A new study by thoracic surgeons and pathologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows that a specific pattern found in the tumor pathology of some lung cancer patients is a strong predictor of recurrence. Knowing that this feature exists in a tumor's pathology could be an important factor doctors use to guide cancer treatment decisions.

According to the study's authors, the findings offer the first scientific evidence that may not only help surgeons identify which patients are more likely to benefit from less radical lung-sparing surgery, but which patients will benefit from more extensive surgery, potentially reducing the risk of lung cancer recurrence by 75 percent. The study will be published in the August 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers retrospectively evaluated the clinical characteristics and pathology information of 734 patients who had surgery for early-stage adenocarcinoma the most common subtype of non-small cell lung cancer and found that tumors in 40 percent of those patients exhibited an abnormal cell pattern strongly associated with cancer recurrence after surgery. No study to date has investigated the prognostic utility of this classification, called micropapillary (MIP) morphology, for patients with small, early-stage lung adenocarcinomas. Currently there are no evidence-based criteria for choosing the most effective surgical approach for this group.

The findings suggest that limited resection may not be appropriate for patients with the MIP pattern, as they were found to have a 34 percent risk of the cancer returning within five years after lung-sparing surgery, or limited resection, in which the tumor is removed by minimally invasive means and lung function is preserved. In contrast, patients with the MIP pattern who underwent lobectomy the standard approach in which up to a third of the lung is removed along with the tumor had on
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Contact: Esther Napolitano
napolite@mskcc.org
917-299-0291
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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