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Evaluation of grading systems in stage I lung adenocarcinomas: a retrospective cohort study


Aims There is no internationally accepted grading system for lung adenocarcinoma despite the new WHO classification. The architectural grade, the Kadota grade and the Sica score were evaluated and compared with overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS).

Methods Comprehensive histological subtyping was used in a series of resected stage I lung adenocarcinoma to identify subtypes of adenocarcinomas, the architectural grade, the Kadota grade, the Sica grade, the mitotic count, nuclear atypia, the presence of lymphovascular, vascular and airway propagation, necrosis, and micropapillary or solid growth pattern in any percentage. Statistical models fitted included Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional hazard regression models.

Results 261 stage I adenocarcinomas were included. The 5-year survivals of different subtypes were as follows: lepidic (n=40, OS: 92.5%; DFS 91.6%), acinar (n=54, OS: 81.8%; DFS: 68.6%), papillary (n=49, OS: 73.6%; DFS: 61.0%), solid (n=95, OS: 64.7%; DFS: 57.8%) and micropapillary (n=23, OS: 34.8%; DFS: 33.5%). Concerning the architectural grade, there were significant differences between OS and DFS of low and intermediate (pOS=0.005, pDFS<0.001), low and high (pOS<0.001, pDFS<0.001) and intermediate and high grades (pOS=0.002, pDFS<0.001). Low-grade and intermediate grade tumours did not differ in survival according to Kadota grade and Sica grade. In the multivariable model, architectural grade was found to be an independent prognostic marker. In another model, architectural pattern proved to be superior to architectural grade.

Conclusions Of the three grading systems compared, the architectural grade makes the best distinction between the outcome of low-grade, intermediate-grade and high-grade stage I adenocarcinomas.

  • Stage I
  • lung adenocarcinoma
  • architectural grade
  • Kadota-grade
  • Sica-score
  • overall survival
  • disease-free survival

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