Improving lung cancer outcomes by improving the quality of surgical care

Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Thomas A. D’Amico

Abstract

Surgical resection remains the most important curative treatment modality for non-small cell lung cancer, but variations in short- and long-term surgical outcomes jeopardize the benefit of surgery for certain patients, operated on by certain types of surgeons, at certain types of institutions. We discuss current understanding of surgical quality measures, and their role in promoting understanding of the causes of outcome disparities after lung cancer surgery. We also discuss the use of minimally invasive surgical resection approaches to expand the playing field for surgery in lung cancer care, and end with a discussion of the future role of surgery in a world of alternative treatment possibilities.