Is lobectomy superior to sub-lobectomy in non-small cell lung cancer with pleural invasion? A population-based competing risk analysis


Pleural invasion (PL) has been regarded as an unfavorable prognostic factor for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). But there was no agreement on the optimal surgical extent in NSCLC patients with PL. We aimed to compare the survival outcomes of lobectomy and sub-lobectomy in these patients.


2717 patients were included in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database and divided into the lobectomy and sub-lobectomy groups. The propensity score matching (PSM) and competing risk analysis were implemented. Then the predictive nomogram was constructed and validated.


2230 Patients received lobectomy while the other 487 patients underwent sub-lobectomy. After 1:1 PSM, the cumulative incidence of cancer-specific death (CSD) was lower in the lobectomy group compared with the sub-lobectomy group (1-year: 12% vs. 15%; 3-year: 30% vs. 37%, 5-year: 34% vs. 45%, P = 0.04). According to the subgroup analysis, the patients who underwent lobectomy suffered lower CSD in the N0–1 stage, adenocarcinoma, and PL-2 cohort (p < 0.05). And there was a significant relationship between the sub-lobectomy group and CSD in the multivariate competing risks regression analysis (HR, 1.26; 95%CI, 1.02–1.56; P = 0.034). Furthermore, a competing event nomogram was constructed to assess the 1-, 3-, and 5-year chances of CSD based on the variables from the multivariate analysis. The 1-, 3-, 5-year area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) values were 0.720, 0.706, and 0.708 in the training cohort, and 0.738, 0.696, 0.680 in the validation cohorts, respectively. And calibration curves demonstrated ideal consistency between the predicted and observed probabilities of CSD.


Lobectomy should be considered the preferred surgery compared to sub-lobectomy for NSCLC patients with PL. The proposed nomograms presented great prediction ability for these patients.

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