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Association of Surgical Timing with Outcomes in Early Stage Lung Cancer

Optimal time to surgery for lung cancer is not well established. We aimed to assess whether time to surgery correlates with outcomes. We assessed patients 18-84 years old who were diagnosed with stage I/II lung cancer at our integrated healthcare system from 2009 to 2019. Time to surgery was defined to start with disease confirmation (imaging or biopsy) prior to the surgery scheduling date. Outcomes of unplanned return to care within 30 days of lung cancer surgery, all-cause mortality, and disease recurrence were compared based on time to surgery before and after 2, 4, and 12 weeks. Of 2861 included patients, 70% were over 65 years old and 61% were female. Time to surgery occurred in 1-2 weeks for 6%, 3-4 weeks for 31%, 5-12 weeks for 58%, and 13-26 weeks for 5% of patients. Patients with time to surgery > 4 (vs. ≤ 4) weeks had greater risk of both death (hazard ratio (HR) 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-1.39) and recurrence (HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.10-1.62). Associations were not statistically significant when dichotomizing time to surgery at 2 or 12 weeks for death (2 week HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.93-1.64; 12 week HR 1.35, 95% CI 0.97-1.88) and recurrence (2 week HR 1.54, 95% CI 0.85-2.80; 12 week HR 2.28, 95% CI 0.80-6.46). Early stage lung cancer patients with time to surgery within 4 weeks experienced lower rates of recurrence. Optimal time to surgical resection may be shorter than previously reported.

Authors: Banks, Kian C; Dusendang, Jennifer R; Schmittdiel, Julie A; Hsu, Diana S; Ashiku, Simon K; Patel, Ashish R; Sakoda, Lori C; Velotta, Jeffrey B

World J Surg. 2023 May;47(5):1323-1332. Epub 2023-01-25.

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