Salvage surgery for local recurrence after stereotactic body radiotherapy for early stage non-small cell lung cancer: a systematic review

Chris Dickhoff, Pedro M. Rodriguez Schaap, Rene H. J. Otten, Martijn W. Heymans, David J. Heineman, Max Dahele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Stereotactic body (or ablative) radiotherapy (SBRT/SABR) is now a guideline-recommended treatment for medically inoperable patients with peripherally-located, stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and for medically operable patients who decline surgery. The 5-year local failure rate after SBRT is about 10% and in highly selected patients, surgery has been used as a salvage therapy. We performed a systematic review to address the feasibility, safety, and outcome of salvage surgery for locally recurrent early stage NSCLC after SBRT. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched and two authors independently assessed the articles. A total of seven eligible articles were identified. Results: All seven articles were retrospective case series, representing a total of 47 patients. Surgery was completed in all patients. Where reported in sufficient detail, morbidity (four studies) was between 29 and 50% (series of two patients) and 90-day mortality (six studies) was between 0% (four studies) and 11% (n = 1, disease progression). Median (n = 5)/mean (n = 1) reported or calculated follow ups were 7–54.5/17.3 months. Median overall survival was reported in three studies and ranged between 13.6–82.7 months. Crude survival in three others was 2–35 months. Conclusion: Limited, low-level evidence prevents firm conclusions, but based on the existing data, salvage surgery after local recurrence of NSCLC following SBRT appears technically feasible, with acceptable morbidity and mortality in appropriately selected and counselled patients who are fit enough and who accept the risks (level of evidence 4, strength of recommendation C).
Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic advances in medical oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this