INTRODUCTION: The few series of synchronous lung cancers have included small cell and carcinoid tumors. We wished to determine the prognosis for patients with synchronous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS: A database of 3034 lung cancer patients was reviewed for synchronous NSCLC. Survival was determined by Kaplan-Meier method and compared by log-rank analysis. RESULTS: There were 27 patients (0.8%). Fourteen were completely resected (CR) and had a 5-year survival rate of 45%. The 5-year survival rate for patients whose highest stage tumor was stage I or II was 38%, versus 0% for patients whose highest tumor stage of III (P = 0.01). The 5-year survival rate for patients with two stage I tumors was 41% versus 0% for patients with 2 stage III tumors (P = 0.03). The 5-year survival rate for patients treated with wedge resections was similar to that for patients treated with lobectomies or pneumonectomy (L/P). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the prognosis for patients with synchronous NSCLC may not be dismal if both tumors are resectable and stage I or II. Wedge resections are an alternative for those who cannot tolerate L/P.
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