VATS segmentectomy: an underused option?
It is well known that the “gold standard” procedure for surgically resectable early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is pulmonary lobectomy. Even though sublobar resections (SLR), particularly segmentectomy, seem attractive as an alternative to lobectomy in early stage lung cancers, they are still debated procedures. The aim of this study is to answer to the question: “Is VATS lung segmentectomy an underused option?” To obtain an answer to this query, the authors carried out a review of the “state of the art” as follows: (I) performing a non-systematic review of the literature; (II) analyzing the review articles published; (III) looking at the ongoing studies, the results of which have not yet published; (IV) scanning the technical aspect of lung segmentectomy. After completing the multi-step revision, we can conclude that there is a lack of evidence about the oncological value of segmentectomy in early stage NSCLC. Although VATS segmentectomy is feasible and performed by many thoracic surgeons, it’s currently not yet world-wide adopted. Among the trials now being recruited in some countries and, aimed to clarify the role of SLR in the treatment of early stage lung cancer, a European prospective randomized study is advocated to implement the scientific knowledge on this issue.