Harvey I. Pass, MD, director, Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Oncology, NYU Langone Medical Center, discusses what it means to take a personalized approach to surgery in lung cancer.
Harvey I. Pass, MD, director, thoracic surgery, thoracic oncology, NYU Langone Medical Center, discusses what it means to take a personalized approach to surgery in lung cancer.
Unlike it medical oncology, it is difficult to define what a personalized approach is in surgery, says Pass. However, the main idea behind a personalized surgical approach is that patients that are atypical or unusual need to be treated differently than the average patient.
For example, if a patient has a small nodule and the randomized trial data is not in yet on whether a lobectomy is necessary, a personalized surgical approach means talking with the patient about the pros and cons of treatment options. Most of the time, in a patient with a small lesion, instead of doing a lobectomy, Pass says he considers a segmentectomy.
A personalized care approach can also be considered for patients with advanced disease when determining if surgery is a good decision. There are patients that need to be operated on that get good local control, says Pass. Overall survival rates are often similar with or without surgery. But the ultimate decision should be based on what’s right for the individual patient.