Thorac Cancer. 2020 Nov 12. doi: 10.1111/1759-7714.13707. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) placement is an urgent procedure for patients with malignant central airway stenoses (CASs) and central airway fistulas (CAFs). The aim of this study was to determine the outcome and survival after SEMS placement in patients with malignant CASs and CAFs.
METHODS: SEMSs were inserted into 20 patients with malignant CASs and four with malignant CAFs. Hospital records, the modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale (mMRC) grade, performance status (PS), symptoms, procedure-related complications and survival after placement were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS: Spiral Z stents were inserted in nine patients, covered Ultraflex stents in 14, and a bare Ultraflex in one patient. After SEMS placement, 20 patients (83.3%) showed improvement in mMRC grade, 19 (79.2%) showed improvement in PS, and 21 (87.5%) showed improvement in symptoms. There were three patients whose stents migrated out of place, but there were no patients with obstructive granulation, infection, or mucous plugs. Median survival days after stent insertion was 98 days for CAS and 103 days for CAF, and mean survival days was 383 ± 707 days for CAS and 93 ± 33 days for CAF. Two patients with CAS by malignant lymphoma and thymic cancer survived more than six years because they were also treated with efficient therapies. The five-year survival rate after stent insertion was 7.7%.
CONCLUSIONS: SEMS placement for CAS and CAF is associated with improvement in mMRC grade, PS and symptoms in 87.5% of patients. Patients with a malignant CAS are usually terminal, but the possibility of increasing survival rate will become a reality with new efficient therapies.
KEY POINTS: SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS OF THE STUDY: Reasonable clinical outcomes and improved survival of patients following SEMS placement for thoracic malignancy with central airway stenosis and fistula.
WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: The possibility of increasing survival rate will become a reality with new efficient therapies.