Determination of safe margin in the surgical pathologic specimens of non-small cell carcinoma of the lung
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Background and Aim: Local recurrences of the tumor at the surgical margin are serious problems in pulmonary resections for lung cancer. The aim of this study is to determine the involved margins and safe distances of the resection sites from tumor for prevention of local recurrences. Material and Methods: In this prospective study, 66 patients operated for non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) from Jan 2006 to Sep 2008 were evaluated. After performing pulmonary resections, multiple biopsies were taken up from 5 mm (A), 10 mm (B), 15 mm (C), and 20 mm (D) distance from tumor. The specimens were studied histopathologically. Results: From a total of 66 patients with NSCLC admitted to our referral hospital, 25 (38%) had adenocarcinoma, 18 (27.3%) squamous cell carcinoma, 5 (7.5%) large cell carcinoma, 4 (6%) bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma, 4 (6%) adenoid cystic carcinoma, 3 (4.6%) malignant carcinoid tumor and 7 (10.6%) had metastasis. The most common symptoms were dyspnea and cough. Histopathologically tumor positive margins were found in 84.8% (A), 10.6% (B), 4.5% (C), and 0% (D). There was a significant statistically difference between tumor involvement at distances 5 mm (A) versus 10-20 mm (B-D) (P <0.001). Conclusion: A 20 mm distance from the gross tumor is considered as a safe surgical margin in any type of malignant pulmonary resections for prevention of local surgical recurrences if there was no pathologic examination before surgery.