In 2016, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) published a number of revisions of the seventh edition of the tumor, node and metastasis (TNM) classification for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The purpose was to establish a set of recommendations for the eighth edition of the TNM staging system. A large number of patients were included in the IASLC database and subsequently analysed to determine new definitions for the components of the TNM classification. A number of important changes were introduced for the T component. Survival analysis of the different T categories showed no significant difference in categories T1a and T1b. This has resulted in a collapse of categories T1a and T1b into one category T1. In addition, tumor thickness was also significantly associated with overall survival. The descriptors for the N components have been redefined as well for the eighth TNM classification. A major revision is the removal of category N3 in the N component. Both intrapleural and extrapleural (N1 and N2 in the seventh edition) are now combined into a single category N1. Lymph nodes that were previously categorized as N3 are now considered N2. For the M component, no redefinition has been published. However, a recommendation has been made to only consider M1 involvement as stage IV disease. This is in contrast to the seventh edition in which T4 and N3 disease were considered stage IV as well. In conclusion, a number of important revisions for the eighth TNM classification of MPM have been published as a result of this IASLC project. This type of large-scale and international joint efforts are key in establishing effective staging systems. Research into using tumor thickness as a prognostic instrument will be an important part of any future editions of the TNM classification.
Breast reconstruction with an autologous free Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap is one of the preferred options following mastectomy. A challenging step in this procedure is the selection of a suitable perforator that provides sufficient blood supply for the flap. The current golden standard for perforator mapping is computed tomography angiography (CTA). However, this is a relatively expensive imaging modality that requires intravenous contrast injection and exposes patients to ionizing radiation.More recently, dynamic infrared thermography (DIRT) has been proposed as an alternative imaging modality for perforator identification. DIRT appears to be an ideal alternative technique not only for the identification of the dominant perforators, but also for the mapping of the individual influence of each perforator on the flap perfusion. Multiple studies have been performed with the use of DIRT, unfortunately without standardisation of the measurement set-up. In this technical note we propose a standardised and reproducible measurement set-up for the use of DIRT during breast reconstructions with a free DIEP flap. This set-up can be used pre-, intra-and postoperatively. A standardised measurement set-up will improve the quality of measured data and ensure reproducibility.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare disease of the pleura and is largely related to asbestos exposure. Despite recent advancements in technologies and a greater understanding of the disease, the prognosis of MPM remains poor; the median overall survival rate is about 6 to 9 months in untreated patients. The main therapeutic strategies for MPM are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy (RT). The two main surgical approaches for MPM are extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), in which the lung is removed en bloc, and pleurectomy/decortication, in which the lung stays in situ. Chemotherapy usually consists of a platinum-based chemotherapy, such as cisplatin, often combined with a folate antimetabolite, such as pemetrexed. More recently, immunotherapy has emerged as a possible therapeutic strategy for MPM. Evidence suggests that single-modality treatments are not an effective therapeutic approach for MPM. Therefore, researchers have started to explore different multimodality treatment approaches, in which often combinations of surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and RT are investigated. There is still no definitive answer to the question of which multimodality treatment combinations are most effective in improving the poor prognosis of MPM. Research into the effects of trimodality treatment approaches have found that radical approaches such as EPP and hemithoracic RT post-EPP are less effective than was previously assumed. In general, there are still a great number of unanswered questions and unknown factors regarding the ideal treatment approach for MPM. Hopefully, more research into multimodality therapy will provide insight into which combination of treatment modalities is most effective.
In this review, we aim to summarize the most recent data on the surgical management of oligometastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Background: Approximately 60-70% of all patients with NSCLC initially present with advanced stages of cancer at time of diagnosis. These patients are generally treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these modalities. Patients with late-stage disease are usually not considered to be amenable for curative-intent treatments due to poor prognoses. Despite advances in systemic therapies, 5-year overall survival rates in these patients remain poor. However, technological advances in imaging modalities and new imaging strategies have substantially increased tumor detection rates and have resulted in a shift towards earlier diagnosis of NSCLC, possibly in stages in which metastatic disease is limited and still treatable.Studies in recent years have shown that there is a distinct group of patients with metastatic lesions at one or a few sites, often referred to as oligometastatic disease, that may have better survival outcomes compared to patients with more disseminated diseases. Furthermore, it is suggested that these patients may benefit from a combination of systemic treatment and local treatment aimed at the metastatic site(s). However, the role of surgery in this setting remains a controversial subject, with many unanswered questions.Methods: The PubMed/MEDLINE database and the Cochrane database were searched to find relevant articles regarding oligometastatic NSCLC. Specifically, articles regarding definitions of oligometastatic disease, oligometastatic tumor biology, diagnosis, and the treatment of oligometastatic disease were identified.Conclusions: Oligometastatic NSCLC represents a wide spectrum of diseases and encompasses a heterogeneous patient population. Current data suggests that local ablative treatment of oligometastatic lesions with surgery or stereotactic body radiation therapy may result in improved overall survival and progression-free survival rates. However, more data from multi-center prospective trials are necessary to shed light on which therapeutic modalities are most suitable for the treatment of oligometastatic NSCLC.Integration of clinical and molecular staging data is necessary to allow for more personalized treatment approaches.
According to the eighth edition of the tumor–node–metastasis classification, stage III non-small cell lung cancer is subdivided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. They represent a heterogeneous group of bronchogenic carcinomas with locoregional involvement by extension of the primary tumor and/or ipsilateral or contralateral lymph node involvement. Surgical indications have not been definitely established but, in general, long-term survival is only obtained in those patients in whom a complete resection is obtained. This mini-review mainly focusses on stage IIIA disease comprising patients with locoregionally advanced lung cancers. Different subcategories of N2 involvement exist, which range from unexpected N2 disease after thorough preoperative staging or “surprise” N2, to bulky N2 involvement, mostly treated by chemoradiation, and finally, the intermediate category of potentially resectable N2 disease treated with a combined modality regimen. After induction therapy for preoperative N2 involvement, best surgical results are obtained with proven mediastinal downstaging when a lobectomy is feasible to obtain a microscopic complete resection. However, no definite, universally accepted guidelines exist. A relatively new entity is salvage surgery applied for recurrent disease after full-dose chemoradiation when no other therapeutic options exist. Equally, only a small subset of patients with T4N0-1 disease qualify for surgical resection after thorough discussion within a multidisciplinary tumor board on the condition that a complete resection is feasible. Targeted therapies and immunotherapy have recently become part of our therapeutic armamentarium, and it might be expected that they will be incorporated in current regimens after careful evaluation in randomized clinical trials.
Multimodality therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a complex and controversial issue, especially regarding optimal treatment regimens for patients with ipsilateral positive mediastinal nodes (N2 disease). Many trials investigating neoadjuvant immunotherapy and targeted therapy in this subpopulation have shown promising results, although concerns have risen regarding surgical feasibility. A thorough literature review was performed, analyzing all recent studies regarding surgical morbidity and mortality. Despite the fact that two major trials investigating this subject were terminated early, the overall consensus is that surgical management seems feasible. However, dissection of hilar vessels may be challenging due to hilar fibrosis. Further research is necessary to identify the role of surgery in these multimodality treatment regimens, and to define matters such as the optimal treatment regimen, the dosage of the different agents used, the interval between induction therapy and surgery, and the role of adjuvant therapy.
The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced healthcare providers worldwide to adapt their practices. Our understanding of the effects of COVID-19 has increased exponentially since the beginning of the pandemic. Data from large-scale, international registries has provided more insight regarding risk factors for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and has allowed us to delineate specific subgroups of patients that have higher risks for severe complications. One particular subset of patients that have significantly higher risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection with higher morbidity and mortality rates are those that require surgical treatment for lung cancer. Earlier studies have shown that COVID-19 infections in patients that underwent lung cancer surgery is associated with higher rates of respiratory failure and mortality. However, deferral of cancer treatments is associated with increased mortality as well. This creates difficult situations in which healthcare providers are forced to weigh the benefits of surgical treatment against the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infections. A number of oncological and surgical organizations have proposed treatment guidelines and recommendations for patients planned for lung cancer surgery. In this review, we summarize the latest data and recommendations for patients undergoing lung cancer surgery in the COVID-19 circumstance.
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