Carcinosarcoma of the lung: an analysis of 6 operated cases.

H. L. Shyu, B. S. Huang, C. Y. Cheng, J. K. Wu, L. S. Wang, W. H. Hsu, C. W. Tao, W. Y. Li, M. H. Huang, K. Y. Chien

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5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. Carcinosarcoma of the lung is a rare malignant pulmonary neoplasm, and constitutes 0.1% to 0.3% of all lung tumors. Typically, these tumor have both carcinomatous and sarcomatous components with a poor prognosis due to late diagnosis and early metastases. METHODS. From July 1980 to December 1993, six patients with pulmonary carcinosarcoma who underwent surgical treatment were studied. None of them had accurate tissue diagnosis before operation except one case with peripheral variant carcinosarcoma who was diagnosed by percutaneous transthoracic fine needle biopsy under sonographic guidance. All of our patients had a huge peripheral lung tumor 3.8 to 10 cm in diameter. Pneumonectomy was done in two patients, and lobectomy in three. The other patient had unresectable tumor. RESULTS. The histopathological components in carcinoma were epidermoid carcinoma in and adenocarcinoma in 3. Differentiation of sarcomatous lesions included spindle cell sarcoma in 3, fibrosarcoma in 2 and undifferentiated mesenchymal sarcoma in one patient. In the resectable group, 1 was at stage II and 4 were at stage IIIa. None of the patients survived more than 2 years due to distant metastasis and cachexia. The mean survival was 140 days. CONCLUSIONS. The carcinomatous portion tends to metastasize to regional lymph nodes whereas the sarcomatous part gives rise to systemic dissemination. Due to early systemic dissemination and poor prognosis, combination of extensive surgical intervention resection with aggressive postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy might be a reasonable consideration to improve survival in primary pulmonary carcinosarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Medical Journal (Taipei)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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