Special treatment issues

Frank C. Detterbeck, David R. Jones, Kemp H. Kernstine, Keith S. Naunheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


This chapter of the Lung Cancer Guidelines addresses patients with particular forms of non-small cell lung cancer that require special considerations. This includes patients with Pancoast tumors, T4N0,1M0 tumors, satellite nodules in the same lobe, synchronous and metachronous multiple primary lung cancers (MPLC), and solitary metastases. For patients with a Pancoast tumor, a multimodality approach, involving chemoradiotherapy and surgical resection, appears optimal provided appropriate staging has been carried out. Patients with central T4 tumors that do not have mediastinal node involvement are uncommon. When carefully staged and selected, however, such patients appear to benefit from resection as part of the treatment as opposed to chemoradiotherapy alone. Patients with a satellite lesion in the same lobe as the primary tumor have a good prognosis and require no modification of the approach to evaluation and treatment from what would be dictated by the primary tumor alone. On the other hand, it is difficult to know how best to treat patients with a focus of the same type of cancer in a different lobe. Although MPLC do occur, the survival results after resection for either a synchronous presentation or a metachronous presentation with an interval of < 4 years between tumors are variable and generally poor, suggesting that many of these patients may have had a pulmonary metastasis rather than a second primary lung cancer. A thorough and careful evaluation of these patients is warranted to try to differentiate between patients with a metastasis and those with a second primary lung cancer, although criteria to distinguish them have not been defined. Finally, some patients with a solitary focus of metastatic disease in the brain or adrenal gland appear to benefit substantially from resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244S-258S
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2003


  • Adrenal metastasis
  • Brain metastasis
  • Carina
  • Metachronous primary lung cancers
  • Multiple primary lung cancer
  • Pancoast tumor
  • Satellite nodules
  • Superior sulcus tumor
  • Superior vena cava
  • Synchronous primary lung cancers
  • T4N0,1M0 tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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