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BTOG 2024 | Assessing operability in NSCLC: challenges and considerations

Mariana Brandao, MD, PhD, Institute Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium, delves into the complexities of defining operability in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), acknowledging the unique challenges posed by the necessity of the lungs for survival. She outlines three key factors in assessing operability: oncological operability, focusing on the potential for surgery to improve cure rates compared to other treatments; functional operability, which involves evaluating patient comorbidities and assessing cardiac and pulmonary function to determine surgical tolerance; and technical operability, based on anatomical criteria such as tumor size, location, and relation to adjacent structures, aiming for clear pathological margins. Dr Brandao emphasizes the challenges posed by stage three disease, characterized by heterogeneous tumor characteristics and varying degrees of lymph node involvement, which can complicate surgical decision-making. This interview took place at the BTOG 2024 congress in Belfast, UK.

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