Postoperative Adverse Events are Associated with Oncologic Recurrence Following Curative-intent Resection for Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung. 2020 Oct 9. doi: 10.1007/s00408-020-00395-6. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Up to 50% of patients suffer short-term postoperative adverse events (AEs) and metastatic recurrence in the long-term following curative-intent lung cancer resection. The association between AEs, particularly infectious in nature, and disease recurrence is controversial. We sought to evaluate the association of postoperative AEs on risk of developing recurrence and recurrence-free survival (RFS) following curative-intent lung resection surgery.

METHODS: All lung cancer resections at a single institution (January 2008-July 2015) were included, with prospective collection of AEs using the Thoracic Morbidity & Mortality System. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effect of AEs on recurrence, with results presented as hazard ratio (HR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). An a priori, clinically driven approach to predictor variable selection was used. Kaplan-Meier curves were used examine the relationship between AE and RFS. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: 892 patients underwent curative-intent resection. 342 (38.3%) patients experienced an AE; 69 (7.7%) patients developed infectious AEs. 17.6% (n = 157) of patients had disease recurrence after mean follow-up of 26.5 months. Severe (Grade IV) AEs were associated with increased risk of recurrence (3.40; 95% CI 1.56-7.41) and a trend to decreased RFS. Major infectious AEs were associated with increased risk of recurrence (HR 1.71; CI 1.05-2.8) and earlier time to recurrence (no infectious AE 66 months, minor infectious 41 months, major infectious 54 months; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: For patients undergoing curative-intent lung cancer resection, postoperative AEs associated with critical illness or major infection were associated with increased risk of oncologic recurrence.