Early central airways lung cancer

Chiaki Akira, Endo Sakurada, Takashi Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Early central airways lung cancer accounts for very small percentage of all lung cancers. Given this fact, it is much difficult to carry out a prospective randomized comparative clinical trial. Even retrospective studies can offer important information. Early central airways lung cancer is usually detected by sputum cytology. If sputum cytology shows atypical epithelial cells implying malignancy, the next thing we have to do is bronchoscopy. Both autofluorescence bronchoscopy and white light bronchoscopy were superior to white light bronchoscopy alone in detecting this type of lung cancer. Natural history of this cancer showed about the two-thirds of the patients die from original disease within 10 years. If the tumor length is 10 mm or less, photodynamic therapy is a first-line modality. After photodynamic therapy, a 5-year overall survival of about 80 % and a 10-year overall survival of 70 % can be expected. If a cancer does not meet the criteria for photodynamic therapy, surgical resection is recommended, and 5-year overall survival of about 80 % can be expected. Segmentectomy should be considered because of pulmonary function preservation if a tumor is located at segmental bronchi or beyond it. The frequency of multicentricity is high. Treatment strategy for subsequent primary lung cancer is an important key for the prognosis of patients with treated early central airways lung cancer. Surgical resection is still the most reliable treatment of subsequent primary lung cancer, except for in situ or microinvasive carcinoma located centrally, which could be cured by photodynamic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-560
Number of pages4
JournalGeneral thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep 1


  • Autofluorescence bronchoscopy
  • Multicentricity
  • Narrow band imaging
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Segmentectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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