Percutaneous lung microwave ablation versus lung resection in high-risk patients. A monocentric experience

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Paolo Mendogni
Elisa Daffrè
Lorenzo Rosso
Alessandro Palleschi
Ilaria Righi
Rosaria Carrinola
Francesco Damarco
Federico Polli
Annamaria Ierardi
Antonio Arrichiello
Gianpaolo Carrafiello
Mario Nosotti
Davide Tosi


Microwave ablation, lung lobectomy, lung cancer


Background and aim of work: Lung microwave ablation (MWA) is considered an alternative treatment in high-risk patients, not suitable for surgery. The aim of our study is to compare MWA and pulmonary lobectomy in high-risk, lung cancer patients. Methods: This was a single-center, propensity score--weighted cohort study. All adult patients who underwent CT guided MWA for stage I NSCLC between June 2009-October 2014 were included in the study and were compared with a cohort of patients submitted to lung lobectomy in the same period of time. Outcomes were overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Results: 32 patients underwent MWA, and 35 high-risk patients submitted to lung lobectomy in the same period were selected. Median follow-up time was 51.1 months (95% CI: 43.8-62.3). Overall survival was 43.8 (95% CI: 26.1-55) and 55.8 months (95% CI: 49.9-76.8) in the MWA group and Lobectomy group, respectively. Negative prognostic factors were MWA procedure (HR:2.25, 95% CI: 1.20-4.21, p= 0.0109) and nodule diameter (HR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01-1.07; p= 0.007) for OS, while MWA procedure (HR: 5.2; 95% CI: 2.1-12.8: p < 0.001), ECOG 3 (HR: 5.0; 95% CI: 1.6-15.6; p = 0.006) and nodule diameter (HR: 1.1; 95% CI: 1.0-1.1; p = 0.003) for DFS. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a high percentage of local relapse in the MWA group but a comparable overall survival. Although lung lobectomy remains the gold standard treatment for stage I NSCLC, we can consider the MWA procedure as valid alternative local treatment in high-risk patients for stage I NSCLC.


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