Current Thoracic Surgery 2023 , Vol 8 , Issue 1
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on non-small cell lung cancer: a retrospective study
Selçuk Gürz1,Ayşen Taslak Şengül1,Mehmet Gökhan Pirzirenli1,Yasemin Büyükkarabacak1,Burçin Çelik1,Necmiye Gül Temel1,Caner İşevi1,Ahmet Başoğlu1
1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ondokuz Mayis University Faculty of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey DOI : 10.26663/cts.2023.004 Viewed : 1098 - Downloaded : 428 Background: The most important treatment method in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is surgery. Detection of the disease at an early stage is one factor that determines the prognosis. This study investigates the impact of the novel coronavirus disease pandemic on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of NSCLC.

Materials and Methods: Between March 2019 and March 2021, a total of 163 patients (142 males, 21 females, mean age 62.3 ± 7.8 years; range, 39 to 78 years) diagnosed with NSCLC who underwent surgery were retrospectively analyzed. The patients were divided into two groups according to COVID-19 pandemic period such as before (Group 1) and after (Group 2) March 2020. Demographic characteristics, symptoms, diagnostic method, pathological diagnosis, stage, surgical treatment method, and developing complications of patients were recorded.

Results: During the investigation of COVID-19, NSCLC was detected among 16.8% (n = 17) of the patients who underwent surgery. The number of NSCLC patients who underwent surgery during the pandemic period increased by 62.9% compared to the pre-pandemic period. (p=0.338). Despite patients with Stage 1 disease (30.6% vs. 9.9%, p = 0.007) and the rate of open surgery was significantly decreased (82.3% vs. 52.5%, p < 0.001) during the pandemic period for patients diagnosed with NSCLC, those who underwent surgery were most frequently determined on stage 1A when compared with the pre-pandemic period. In contrast, the video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery approach increased (17.7% vs. 47.5%, p < 0.001), and a statistically significant difference was found between the distributions of surgical procedures.

Conclusions: In the novel coronavirus pandemic, thorax computed tomography used for lung assessment affected the detection rate of NSCLC. The importance of VATS pulmonary resections increased in this period, thus shortening the hospital stay of the patients. Keywords : COVID-19, non-small cell lung cancer, pandemic, thoracic surgery