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1.  Endobronchial Mucosa Invasion Predicts Survival in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47613.
Background
Current staging system for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) categorizes patients into limited- or extensive-stage disease groups according to anatomical localizations. Even so, a wide-range of survival times has been observed among patients in the same staging system. This study aimed to identify whether endobronchial mucosa invasion is an independent predictor for poor survival in patients with SCLC, and to compare the survival time between patients with and without endobronchial mucosa invasion.
Methods
We studied 432 consecutive patients with SCLC based on histological examination of biopsy specimens or on fine-needle aspiration cytology, and received computed tomography and bone scan for staging. All the enrolled patients were assessed for endobronchial mucosa invasion by bronchoscopic and histological examination. Survival days were compared between patients with or without endobronchial mucosa invasion and the predictors of decreased survival days were investigated.
Results
84% (364/432) of SCLC patients had endobronchial mucosal invasion by cancer cells at initial diagnosis. Endobronchial mucosal involvement (Hazard ratio [HR], 2.01; 95% Confidence Interval [CI], 1.30–3.10), age (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03–1.06), and extensive stage (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.06–1.84) were independent contributing factors for shorter survival time, while received chemotherapy (HR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.25–0.42) was an independent contributing factor better outcome. The survival days of SCLC patients with endobronchial involvement were markedly decreased compared with patients without (median 145 vs. 290, p<0.0001). Among SCLC patients of either limited (median 180 vs. 460, p<0.0001) or extensive (median 125 vs. 207, p<0.0001) stages, the median survival duration for patients with endobronchial mucosal invasion was shorter than those with intact endobronchial mucosa, respectively.
Conclusion
Endobronchial mucosal involvement is an independent prognostic factor for SCLC patients and associated with decreased survival days.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047613
PMCID: PMC3464219  PMID: 23056644
2.  Feasibility of Bispectral Index-Guided Propofol Infusion for Flexible Bronchoscopy Sedation: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27769.
Objectives
There are safety issues associated with propofol use for flexible bronchoscopy (FB). The bispectral index (BIS) correlates well with the level of consciousness. The aim of this study was to show that BIS-guided propofol infusion is safe and may provide better sedation, benefiting the patients and bronchoscopists.
Methods
After administering alfentanil bolus, 500 patients were randomized to either propofol infusion titrated to a BIS level of 65-75 (study group) or incremental midazolam bolus based on clinical judgment to achieve moderate sedation. The primary endpoint was safety, while the secondary endpoints were recovery time, patient tolerance, and cooperation.
Results
The proportion of patients with hypoxemia or hypotensive events were not different in the 2 groups (study vs. control groups: 39.9% vs. 35.7%, p = 0.340; 7.4% vs. 4.4%, p = 0.159, respectively). The mean lowest blood pressure was lower in the study group. Logistic regression revealed male gender, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, and electrocautery were associated with hypoxemia, whereas lower propofol dose for induction was associated with hypotension in the study group. The study group had better global tolerance (p<0.001), less procedural interference by movement or cough (13.6% vs. 36.1%, p<0.001; 30.0% vs. 44.2%, p = 0.001, respectively), and shorter time to orientation and ambulation (11.7±10.2 min vs. 29.7±26.8 min, p<0.001; 30.0±18.2 min vs. 55.7±40.6 min, p<0.001, respectively) compared to the control group.
Conclusions
BIS-guided propofol infusion combined with alfentanil for FB sedation provides excellent patient tolerance, with fast recovery and less procedure interference.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials. gov NCT00789815
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027769
PMCID: PMC3223212  PMID: 22132138
3.  An outcome analysis of self-expandable metallic stents in central airway obstruction: a cohort study 
Background
Self-expandable metallic stents (SEMSs) have provided satisfactory management of central airway obstruction. However, the long-term benefits and complications of this management modality in patients with benign and malignant obstructing lesions after SEMS placement are unclear. We performed this cohort study to analyze the outcomes of Ultraflex SEMSs in patients with tracheobronchial diseases.
Methods
Of 149 patients, 72 with benign and 77 with malignant tracheobronchial disease received 211 SEMSs (benign, 116; malignant, 95) and were retrospectively reviewed in a tertiary hospital.
Results
The baseline characteristics of patients who received SEMS implantation for benign conditions and those who underwent implantation for malignant conditions were significantly different. These characteristics included age (mean, 63.9 vs. 58; p < 0.01), gender (male, 62% vs. 90%; p < 0.0001), smoking (47% vs. 85%; p < 0.0001), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (mean, 0.9 vs. 1.47 L/s; p < 0.0001), follow-up days after SEMS implantation (median; 429 vs. 57; p < 0.0001), and use of covered SEMS (36.2% vs. 94.7%; p < 0.0001). Symptoms improved more after SEMS implantation in patients with benign conditions than in those with malignant conditions (76.7% vs. 51.6%; p < 0.0001). The overall complication rate after SEMS implantation in patients with benign conditions was higher than that in patients with malignancy (42.2% vs. 21.1%; p = 0.001). Successful management of SEMS migration, granulation tissue formation, and SEMS fracture occurred in 100%, 81.25%, and 85% of patients, respectively.
Conclusions
Patients who received SEMS implantation owing to benign conditions had worse lung function and were older than those who received SEMS for malignancies. There was higher complication rate in patients with benign conditions after a longer follow-up period owing to the nature of the underlying diseases.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-6-46
PMCID: PMC3090328  PMID: 21477303
4.  Diagnostic Value of EBUS-TBNA for Lung Cancer with Non-Enlarged Lymph Nodes: A Study in a Tuberculosis-Endemic Country 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16877.
Background
In tuberculosis (TB)-endemic areas, contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) findings of lung cancer patients with non-enlarged lymph nodes are frequently discrepant. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) enables real-time nodal sampling, and thereby improves nodal diagnosis accuracy. This study aimed to compare the accuracy of nodal diagnosis by using EBUS-TBNA, and PET.
Methods
We studied 43 lung cancer patients with CT-defined non-enlarged mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes and examined 78 lymph nodes using EBUS-TBNA.
Results
The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of EBUS-TBNA were 80.6%, 100%, 100%, and 85.7%, respectively. PET had low specificity (18.9%) and a low positive predictive value (44.4%). The diagnostic accuracy of EBUS-TBNA was higher than that of PET (91% vs. 47.4%; p<0.001). Compared to CT-based nodal assessment, PET yielded a positive diagnostic impact in 36.9% nodes, a negative diagnostic impact in 46.2% nodes, and no diagnostic impact in 16.9% nodes. Patients with lymph nodes showing negative PET diagnostic impact had a high incidence of previous pulmonary TB. Multivariate analysis indicated that detection of hilar nodes on PET was an independent predictor of negative diagnostic impact of PET.
Conclusion
In a TB-endemic area with a condition of CT-defined non-enlarged lymph node, the negative diagnostic impact of PET limits its clinical usefulness for nodal staging; therefore, EBUS-TBNA, which facilitates direct diagnosis, is preferred.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016877
PMCID: PMC3045379  PMID: 21364919
5.  Concomitant Active Tuberculosis Prolongs Survival in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Study in a Tuberculosis-Endemic Country 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33226.
Background
Adjuvant tumor cell vaccine with chemotherapy against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) shows limited clinical response. Whether it provokes effective cellular immunity in tumor microenvironment is questionable. Concomitant active tuberculosis in NSCLC (TBLC) resembles locoregional immunotherapy of tumor cell vaccine; thus, maximally enriches effective anti-tumor immunity. This study compares the survival and immunological cell profile in TBLC over NSCLC alone.
Methods
Retrospective review of NSCLC patients within 1-year-period of 2007 and follow-up till 2010.
Results
A total 276 NSCLC patients were included. The median survival of TBLC is longer than those of NSCLC alone (11.6 vs. 8.8 month, p<0.01). Active tuberculosis is an independent predictor of better survival with HR of 0.68 (95% CI, 0.48∼0.97). Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (55.8 vs. 31.7%, p<0.01) is a significant risk factor for NSCLC with active TB. The median survival of SCC with active tuberculosis is significantly longer than adenocarcinoma or undetermined NSCLC with TB (14.2 vs. 6.6 and 2.8 months, p<0.05). Active tuberculosis in SCC increases the expression of CD3 (46.4±24.8 vs. 24.0±16.0, p<0.05), CXCR3 (35.1±16.4 vs. 19.2±13.3, p<0.01) and IP-10 (63.5±21.9 vs. 35.5±21.0, p<0.01), while expression of FOXP3 is decreased (3.5±0.5 vs. 13.3±3.7 p<0.05, p<0.05). Survival of SCC with high expression of CD3 (12.1 vs. 3.6 month, p<0.05) and CXCR3 (12.1 vs. 4.4 month, p<0.05) is longer than that with low expression.
Conclusions
Active tuberculosis in NSCLC shows better survival outcome. The effective T lymphocyte infiltration in tumor possibly underlies the mechanism. Locoregional immunotherapy of tumor cell vaccine may deserve further researches.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033226
PMCID: PMC3306389  PMID: 22438899

Results 1-5 (5)