The surgical management of superior sulcus tumors: A retrospective review with long-term follow-up

Melvyn Goldberg, Dipin Gupta, Aaron R. Sasson, Benjamin Movsas, Corey J. Langer, Alexandra L. Hanlon, Hao Wang, Walter J. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background. We reviewed our experience with multimodality therapy for superior sulcus tumors to identify aspects of treatment that impact survival. Methods. We retrospectively analyzed the records of 39 consecutive patients who underwent surgical resection in a single institution between 1993 and 2000. Results. Median age at presentation was 59 years (range, 40 to 77). Twenty-five patients (64%) were men. At presentation, 36 patients (92%) had clinical T3 tumors and 3 (8%) had clinical T4 tumors. Mediastinoscopy was negative in all patients. Thirty-one patients (79%) received preoperative radiotherapy (median dose, 4500 cGy). Chemotherapy was administered concurrently with radiotherapy in 27 patients (69%). Complete surgical resection was performed in 34 patients (87%). There were 2 (5%) postoperative deaths. Of the 31 patients who received preoperative therapy, 14 (45%) had their tumors downstaged and 9 (29%) demonstrated a complete pathologic response. Median follow-up (100%) was 69 months. Overall 5-year survival was 47.9%. Five-year survival was 52.1% in patients with negative resection margins (p = 0.005), and 60.6% in patients who demonstrated a response to induction chemoradiation therapy (p = 0.008). Independently, margin status and response to induction therapy are predictors of overall survival (p = 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively). Multivariable analysis identified margin status as the only factor significantly associated with overall survival. Negative margins strongly correlated with the response to preoperative therapy (p = 0.004). Disease-free survival correlated well with the response to induction therapy (p = 0.03). The chemotherapy regimen, T status, operative procedure, and complete pathologic response did not correlate with survival. Conclusions. The use of chemoradiation induction therapy may downstage tumors, enhance the ability to obtain a complete surgical resection, and prolong survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1179
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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