Purpose. The preoperative assessment of nodal status in lung cancer is complicated and problematic for physicians and surgeons. Although many patients with clinical N1 (cN1) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are candidates for surgical treatment, these patients represent a heterogeneous subgroup with unpredictable survival. We conducted this study to evaluate the surgical results of cN1 disease and to attempt to clarify the delicate issues surrounding its diagnosis and prognosis. Methods. The subjects of this study were 187 consecutive patients with cN1 adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, who underwent complete resection without induction therapy. Results. Only 25% of the adenocarcinomas and 54% of the squamous cell carcinomas were correctly diagnosed as N1 disease preoperatively. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that adenocarcinoma (P = 0.0141) was a signifi cant predictor of pN2. Multivariate analyses revealed that nodal metastasis (P < 0.0001), large tumor size (P = 0.0079), and high serum carcinoembryonic antigen value (P = 0.0096) were signifi cantly poor prognostic factors in cN1 patients. Conclusions. It is diffi cult to diagnose nodal status in patients with cN1 disease, which requires various surgical procedures, including plasty, possibly with adjuvant therapy in a defi ned high-risk subgroup.
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