Introduction: Conflicting results exist regarding whether preoperative transthoracic biopsy increases the risk of pleural recurrence in early lung cancer. We conducted a systematic, patient-level meta-analysis to evaluate the risk of pleural recurrence in stage I lung cancer after percutaneous transthoracic lung biopsy. Methods: A systematic search of OVID-MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was performed through October 2018. Eligible studies were original articles on the risk of pleural recurrence in stage I lung cancer after transthoracic biopsy. We contacted the corresponding authors of eligible studies to obtain individual patient-level data. We used the Fine-Gray model for time to recurrence and lung cancer-specific survival and a Cox proportional hazards model for overall survival. Results: We analysed 2394 individual patient data from 6 out of 10 eligible studies. Compared with other diagnostic procedures, transthoracic biopsy was associated with a higher risk for ipsilateral pleural recurrence, which manifested solely (subdistribution HR (sHR), 2.58; 95% CI 1.15 to 5.78) and concomitantly with other metastases (sHR 1.99; 95% CI 1.14 to 3.48). In the analysis of secondary outcomes considering a significant interaction between diagnostic procedures and age groups, reductions of time to recurrence (sHR, 2.01; 95% CI 1.11 to 3.64), lung cancer-specific survival (sHR 2.53; 95% CI 1.06 to 6.05) and overall survival (HR 2.08; 95% CI 1.12 to 3.87) were observed in patients younger than 55 years, whereas such associations were not observed in other age groups. Discussion: Preoperative transthoracic lung biopsy was associated with increased pleural recurrence in stage I lung cancer and reduced survival in patients younger than 55 years.
- lung cancer
- non-small cell lung cancer
- pleural disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine