Original research

Staging and operability of primary lung cancer in Western Cape Province, South Africa

M A Parker, M S Moolla, G E Paris, C F N Koegelenberg

Abstract


Background. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death globally and in South Africa. Historically, the majority of patients diagnosed with lung cancer are incurable at presentation.

Objectives. To assess the tumour, nodes, metastasis (TNM) staging of lung cancer in a centre with access to both positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) and endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) using a structured diagnostic approach and to compare results with a historical cohort from 2009 from the same hospital.

Methods. A retrospective descriptive observational study was performed using the registry of a high-volume tertiary hospital’s weekly multidisciplinary thoracic oncology meeting (MDT). A structured diagnostic approach was used for staging purposes. All patients with a tissue diagnosis of primary lung cancer and adequate imaging (chest CT and/or PET-CT) who presented at the MDT during the period from 1 January - 31 December 2019 were included. Final staging and tissue diagnoses were documented and compared with a historical cohort from 2009 from the same institution.

Results. Adenocarcinoma was the most common subtype (38.8%; n=116). Less than a tenth of patients (6.3%; n=16/254) with non-small cell lung cancer had potentially curable lung cancer (stage IA to IIIA) at presentation, significantly less than the 2009 cohort (14.5%; n=25/173; p=0.007). The most common procedure administered on patients was transthoracic needle aspiration (37.54%; n=112), followed by conventional bronchoscopic needle aspiration or biopsy (20.4%; n=61), and EBUS-TBNA (17.1%; n=51/299). After PET-CT, 19/30 cases were upstaged including 9/18 from potentially resectable to unresectable. Two of these cases were down-staged to potentially resectable following EBUS-TBNA.

Conclusions. There was a significant decline in resectable and potentially curable lung cancer at presentation over a 10-year period. PET-CT and EBUS-TBNA improved the accuracy of non-small cell lung cancer staging among patients with resectable and potentially curable lung cancer but have exposed a higher stage profile


Authors' affiliations

M A Parker, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

M S Moolla, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

G E Paris, Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

C F N Koegelenberg, Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Thoracic and Critical Care Medicine 2022;28(1):20.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-05-05
Date published: 2022-05-05

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African Journal of Thoracic and Critical Care Medicine| Online ISSN: 2617-0205

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