High-volume surgical centers may improve clinical outcomes for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing surgical resection, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer.1

It has been argued that patients fare better when treated by a multidisciplinary team in a high-volume hospital setting. Researchers in England explored this by analyzing data from 15,738 patients with NSCLC who underwent surgical resection in 1 of 152 primary care trust areas.

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Care facilities were divided into quintiles by volume of surgical operations; primary outcomes of interest were length of post-surgery hospital stay, record of post-surgery readmission, and mortality rates.

It was found that patients treated in a hospital in the highest-volume quintile stayed in the hospital .3 fewer days than those in the lowest-volume quintile; odds of readmission were 15% lower for those in the highest-volume quintile than for those in the lowest; the odds of mortality were about half for those highest-volume quintile versus those of the lowest (.5% compared to 1% after 30 days, respectively).

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The authors acknowledge that the differences are small but consistent, and suggest that the results support a general trend in medicine towards centralized services.


  1. Møller H, Riaz SP, Holmberg L, Jakobsen E, Lagergren J, Page R, et al. High lung cancer surgical procedure volume is associated with shorter length of stay and lower risks of re-admission and death: national cohort analysis in England [published online ahead of print June 18, 2016]. Eur J Cancer. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2016.05.021.