Journal Article

Lung Cancer in Patients Who Had Received Thoracoplasty for Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Atsuhisa Tamura, Akira Hebisawa, Koji Hayashi, Yuzo Sagara, Yoshiko Kawabe, Naohiro Nagayama, Kazuko Machida, Kanae Fukushima, Hideki Yotsumoto and Masashi Mori

in Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology

Volume 29, issue 11, pages 541-545
Published in print November 1999 | ISSN: 0368-2811
Published online November 1999 | e-ISSN: 1465-3621 | DOI:
Lung Cancer in Patients Who Had Received Thoracoplasty for Pulmonary Tuberculosis

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Background: In Japan in the 1950s, thoracoplasty was a powerful therapy for pulmonary tuberculosis. Now there are many aged people who have tuberculosis sequelae caused by thoracoplasty. We have encountered some cases of lung cancer among these people.

Methods: To elucidate the features of lung cancer occurring after thoracoplasty for pulmonary tuberculosis, we reviewed for analysis 20 such cases.

Results: There were 17 men and three women, aged 55 to 78 years (mean 65 years). All had respiratory dysfunction and most were cigarette smokers. Lung cancers were located in the upper lobes in nine cases, in the middle lobe in one and in the lower lobes in 10. Ten lung cancers were in the thoracoplastied lung and the remaining 10 in the opposite lung. Histologically, squamous cell carcinoma was predominant (11 cases). Eight lung cancers were detected in stages I and II and 12 in stages III and IV. Most cancer lesions were separate from tuberculosis lesions. Surgical resection was selected in only three of 11 stages l–IIIA cases in consideration of respiratory dysfunction and/or ventilatory impairment due to thoracoplasty. Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy were performed in nine and supportive care alone was performed in eight. Fourteen patients died of lung cancer and four died of cor pulmonale due to tuberculosis sequelae. Five-year survival was achieved in only one surgical case. Eight of the nine patients who received chemotherapy or radiotherapy died within 1 year, and, further, seven of eight patients who received supportive care died within 6 months.

Conclusion: Lung cancer in the patients who had received thoracoplasty occurred in each lung and every lobe, independent of thoracoplasty. In addition, delay of detection was such that stage III–IV cases were in the majority, there were some limitations in therapeutic benefits related to thoracoplasty and the prognosis was very poor. Physicians should avoid delay in the detection of lung cancer through careful follow-up of such patients.

Keywords: lung cancer; pulmonary tuberculosis; thoracoplasty; tuberculosis sequelae; treatment; prognosis

Journal Article.  2962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology

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