Less invasive methods may accurately determine the stage of suspected lung cancer better than conventional invasive procedures, says a new study.
Determining the stage of the lung cancer is a crucial factor regarding therapy and prognosis however the researchers believe that less invasive methods have emerged as potential alternatives.
"Noninvasive staging with chest computed tomography (CT) or positron emission tomography (PET) is associated with high rates of false-positive and false-negative results, respectively but less invasive methods have emerged as potential alternatives," wrote the authors.
The team led by Michael B. Wallace, M.D., M.P.H., of Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla., compared the diagnostic accuracy of theree methods that were blind transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA), endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA), and, more recently, endobronchial ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EBUS-FNA).
The study involved 138 patients with suspected lung cancer out of which 42 (30 percent) had malignant lymph nodes. \
The finds revealed that 15 percent of malignant lymph nodes were detected by TBNA, EBUS-FNA detected 19.7 percent and EUS plus EBUS detected 22 percent of the lymph nodes.
"If mediastinoscopy[a surgical procedure that requires incisions] had been performed only when results from EUS plus EBUS were negative, this surgical procedure would have been avoided in 28 percent (39/138) of patients in this study.
"If EUS plus EBUS had been used to completely replace mediastinoscopy (100 percent of patients), 97 percent would have been correctly labelled as negative," the authors added
The authors also believe that if these data are confirmed by other studies, they thus suggest that EUS plus EBUS may be an alternative method for surgical staging of the disease in patients with suspected lung cancer.
The study appears in the February 6 issue of JAMA.