Background: The management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has become increasingly complex due to the evolution of personalized medicine approaches. Such approaches are characterized by the necessity of adequate tumor samples; hence, improved biopsy techniques are needed. Transbronchial lung cryobiopsy is a novel endoscopic procedure designed to collect peripheral pulmonary tissue, and it is currently employed in interstitial lung diseases. The use of this technique in oncology might result in improved mediastinum staging and molecular characterizations; however, available data involving the use of a cryoprobe on mediastinal lymph nodes are still limited. Case presentation: Here we present a series of five consecutive patients who underwent endoscopic assessment of mediastinal lymph nodes for oncologic reasons. All patients were subjected both to endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS TBNA) and cryobiopsy of mediastinal lymph nodes during the same procedure, and no complications were observed. In three of the reported cases, both cryobiopsy and cell block from EBUS TBNA were positive, while in one case cryobiopsy was not diagnostic and EBUS TBNA was negative; moreover, one case showed discordance between the procedures, as cryobiopsy was negative and cell block obtained from multiple stations was diagnostic for small cell lung cancer. In one case involving a patient treated for lymphoma, cryobiopsy provided more complete histologic characterization, and in another case involving a patient affected by NSCLC cryobiopsy provided more material for molecular analyses. Conclusion: This case presentation series suggests that cryobiopsy, which has been generally used on peripheral lung lesions so far, is a feasible and safe approach for diagnosis and staging of mediastinal lymph nodal involvement, especially when station 7 is involved. Compared to EBUS TBNA, cryobiopsy might provide more adequate histological samples, with a possible impact on molecular characterizations and, therefore, therapeutic decisions. However, the learning curve of the procedure has not to be understated and optimal protocols for implementing this technique are needed. In our opinion, further studies designed to integrate the routine use of cryobiopsy in current practice for solid and eventually hematologic tumors with mediastinal lymph node involvement are warranted.

Potential application of cryobiopsy for histo-molecular characterization of mediastinal lymph nodes in patients with thoracic malignancies: a case presentation series and implications for future developments

Genova C.;Tagliabue E.;Dono M.;Salvi S.;Zullo L.;Barisione E.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: The management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has become increasingly complex due to the evolution of personalized medicine approaches. Such approaches are characterized by the necessity of adequate tumor samples; hence, improved biopsy techniques are needed. Transbronchial lung cryobiopsy is a novel endoscopic procedure designed to collect peripheral pulmonary tissue, and it is currently employed in interstitial lung diseases. The use of this technique in oncology might result in improved mediastinum staging and molecular characterizations; however, available data involving the use of a cryoprobe on mediastinal lymph nodes are still limited. Case presentation: Here we present a series of five consecutive patients who underwent endoscopic assessment of mediastinal lymph nodes for oncologic reasons. All patients were subjected both to endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS TBNA) and cryobiopsy of mediastinal lymph nodes during the same procedure, and no complications were observed. In three of the reported cases, both cryobiopsy and cell block from EBUS TBNA were positive, while in one case cryobiopsy was not diagnostic and EBUS TBNA was negative; moreover, one case showed discordance between the procedures, as cryobiopsy was negative and cell block obtained from multiple stations was diagnostic for small cell lung cancer. In one case involving a patient treated for lymphoma, cryobiopsy provided more complete histologic characterization, and in another case involving a patient affected by NSCLC cryobiopsy provided more material for molecular analyses. Conclusion: This case presentation series suggests that cryobiopsy, which has been generally used on peripheral lung lesions so far, is a feasible and safe approach for diagnosis and staging of mediastinal lymph nodal involvement, especially when station 7 is involved. Compared to EBUS TBNA, cryobiopsy might provide more adequate histological samples, with a possible impact on molecular characterizations and, therefore, therapeutic decisions. However, the learning curve of the procedure has not to be understated and optimal protocols for implementing this technique are needed. In our opinion, further studies designed to integrate the routine use of cryobiopsy in current practice for solid and eventually hematologic tumors with mediastinal lymph node involvement are warranted.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1073042
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