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J.J. Kloek

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    E13 - High Risk Patients and Low Risk Surgeons (ID 13)

    • Event: WCLC 2013
    • Type: Educational Session
    • Track: Surgery
    • Presentations: 1
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      E13.1 - Salvage Surgery After Radiation: Residual Tumour and Complications (ID 432)

      14:00 - 15:30  |  Author(s): J.J. Kloek

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
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      Salvage surgery after Radiation: Residual Tumor and Complications Definitive chemoradiotherapy is increasingly used in the treatment of patients with stage III non-small-cell lung cancer. Historically, local control and overall survival rates have been poor. To improve local control higher doses of radiotherapy are being investigated, with or without new chemotherapeutic agents. Dose-escalation appears to provide a modest benefit in terms of preventing local failure and improving overall survival, but the benefit comes at a price: The risk of both early and late toxicity appears to increase as well. Despite improved treatment remnants of vital tumor often persist. In many patients this has no clinical significance because prognosis is determined by the occurrence of distant metastases. However, some tumors do not metastasize and local recurrence becomes a problem. These patients are then referred for possible surgical resection. Because of this possibility of isolated local recurrence, doctors Increasingly perform early re-staging procedures after definitive chemoradiotherapy. In case of persistent tumor patients are referred for resection as “late-induction cases”. Another category consists of patients presenting with complications caused by high-dose irradiation. These late sequalae of radiotherapy are: bronchial stenosis, fatal haemoptysis, esophageal stenosis, fistula’s, cardiac complications and the occurrence of 2nd primary tumors. They may occur as early as 3 months, but an interval of one or more years is not uncommon (1) Some of these complications, such as fistula’s or bronchial stenosis , require urgent surgical correction, due to their severe symptoms. Late surgical resection in irradiated patients has been described with good success (2). However, the impaired wound healing capacity of irradiated tissue makes surgery hazardous and the liberal use of non-irradiated tissue flaps is recommended. We describe our experience of surgical correction of late complications after concurrent chemoradiotherapy: Fistulae: A tracheo-esophageal fistula or broncho-esophageal fistula is best treated by esophageal resection and tube-stomach replacement, because the esophagus is often stenotic and mere interposition of a muscle flap between airway and esophagus will not suffice. Stenosis: Bronchial stenosis requires resection, but re-anastomosis carries a high risk of dehiscence. We have seen two cases of dehiscence after 6 and 8 weeks, after the sutures had been absorbed, in spite of wrapping the suture line with an intercostal muscle flap. Tracheomalacia requiring temporary stenting has also occurred following partial tracheal resection. Hemoptysis: Necrosis and cavitation of an irradiated area may be complicated by a fungal infection (aspergillus), causing haemoptysis. These patients, who are often weak and malnourished, are treated by a staged procedure: First thoracic wall fenestration for adequate drainage of the infectied area together with insertion of a gastrostomy or jejunostomy catheter for nutritional support. We try to avoid nasogastric tubes in these patients, to avoid aspiration. At a second stage the cavity is filled with a pedicled muscle flap. Depending on the size and location of the cavity, a partial thoracoplasty is also performed. The interval between the two operations should be limited if the cavity extends towards the hilum, because erosion of a vessel wall may cause fatal hemorrhage. New treatments for lung cancer create new situations for the thoracic surgeon. Good skill, knowledge of old techniques such as thoracoplasty and the use of muscle flaps, and emphasis on nutritional support are mandatory to solve these problems.

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