Objectives: Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung is a very rare and aggressive subtype of non-small cell lung cancer. We explored the clinicopathologic characteristics and surgical outcome of this tumor. Methods: Among 4,212 patients who underwent curative resection for non-small cell lung cancer from September 1994 to December 2009, 99 patients had sarcomatoid carcinoma. Medical records of patients were reviewed retrospectively. Results: The mean follow-up period was 16.07 months. Thirty-six patients had pathologic stage I disease, and 63 had more advanced disease. Surgery included 2 wedge resections, 67 lobectomies, 17 bilobectomies, and 13 pneumonectomies. There were 90 pleomorphic carcinomas, 6 spindle cell carcinomas, 1 giant cell carcinoma, 1 carcinosarcoma, and 1 pulmonary blastoma. Overall 5-year survival was 54.3%. Forty-three patients experienced recurrence and 42 of these died of the cancer. Pathologic T stage as defined by the 7th TNM staging system was significantly associated with survival and recurrence (p = 0.004 and 0.002, respectively). Mean positron emission tomography uptake was significantly higher than in other types of lung cancer (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Our results implied that surgery for sarcomatoid carcinoma must be carefully planned after extensive preoperative evaluation. Efforts should be made for accurate preoperative histological diagnosis of large peripheral tumor with exceedingly high positron emission tomography uptake.

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