1. Institute of Oncology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong University, Jinan, 250021, China;
2. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan 250014, Shandong Province, China;
3. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong University, Jinan, 250021, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Objective: Pure ground-glass opacity (GGO) nodules have been detected with increasing frequency using computed tomography (CT). We performed a retrospective study to clarify whether lung cancer patient prognoses correlated with pure GGO nodules. We also analyzed the clinical characters of patients with pure GGO nodules to provide diagnostic guidance on lung cancer identification and treatment of patients in clinical practice.
Methods: We enrolled 39 of 1422 patients with pure GGO nodules who accepted surgical treatment of the lung cancer nodules, and reviewed materials from 404 patients to verify our conclusions. To discover which factors were prognostically significant, we used the Kaplan-Meier method to estimate the overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) curves. Age, gender, smoking history, histology, tumor size, and stage were the factors examined in our study. We also performed subgroup and matching group analyses to clarify the correlation between the presence of pure GGO nodules and prognoses.
Results: Pure GGO nodules were associated with non-smoking females that had adenocarcinoma. The prognoses of patients in the pure GGO nodule group was better than those in the non-pure GGO nodule group (p = 0.046). Age, grade, and stage (including tumor size and lymph node metastases) were had prognostic significance. In the matching group stage assessments, although patient prognoses were not significantly different among patients of the GGO group compared with thoses of the other group in long-term, while in the short term, patients with pure GGO nodules had longer PFS. Non-smoking female patients with lung cancer were more likely to have adenocarcinoma.
Conclusions: As a subgroup of GGO nodules, pure GGO nodules predict a better prognosis in all lung cancer patients. Wheras our study showed that lung patients with pure GGO nodules in similar stages were not significantly different in long-term prognoses, in the short term; patients with pure GGO nodules had longer PFS.
Keywords: GGO, lung cancer, prognosis, CT, adenocarcinoma