Objective: A precise preoperative diagnosis of in situ or minimally invasive carcinoma may identify patients who can be treated by limited resection. Although some clinical trials of limited resection for lung cancer have started, it will take a long time before the results will be published. We have already reported a large-scale study of limited resection. We herein report the data for a subclass analysis according to differences in pathology. Methods: Data from multiple institutions were collected on 1710 patients who had undergone limited resection (segmentectomy or wedge resection) for cT1N0M0 non-small cell carcinoma. The disease-free survival (DFS) and recurrence-free proportion (RFP) were analyzed. Small cell carcinomas and carcinoid tumors were excluded from this analysis. Adenocarcinomas were sub-classified into four groups using two factors, the ratio of consolidation to the tumor diameter (C/T) and the tumor diameter alone. Results: The median patient age was 64 (20–75) years old. The mean maximal diameter of the tumors was 1.5 ± 0.5 cm. The DFS and RFP at 5 years based on the pathology were 92.2 and 94.7 % in adenocarcinoma (n = 1575), 76.3 and 82.4 % in squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) (n = 100), and 73.6 and 75.9 % in patients with other tumors (n = 35). The prognosis of adenocarcinoma in both groups A (C/T ≤0.25 and tumor diameter ≤2.0 cm) and B (C/T ≤0.25 and tumor diameter >2.0 cm) was good. In SqCC, only segmentectomy was a favorable prognostic factor. In the groups with other pathologies, large cell carcinomas were worse in prognosis (the both DFS and RFP: 46.3 %). Conclusion: Knowing the pathological diagnosis is important to determine the indications for limited resection. Measurement of the tumor diameter and C/T was useful to determine the indications for limited resection for adenocarcinoma. Limited resection for adenocarcinomas is similar with a larger resection, while the technique should be performed with caution in squamous cell carcinoma and other pathologies.
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