Clinical features and prognosis analysis of 57 patients with primary tracheal tumors

Mao Jiang, Qunjuan Lei, Xin Lv, Lijun Zou, Jingjing Liu, Jie Meng


Background: Primary tracheal tumor (PTT) is a rare disease with poor prognosis. Its clinical features are variable. Treatment strategies for patients with PTTs are not standardized. The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical features, management and prognosis of PTT.
Methods: From 2009 to 2019, 57 patients were diagnosed with PTTs at Xiangya Hospital, China. A retrospective review of their medical records was performed.
Results: Among the 57 patients, 8 (14.0%) had benign tumors and 49 (86.0%) had malignant. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (n=20, 40.8%) and adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) (n=10, 20.4%) were the most common histologic types. Seven (87.5%) of the benign PTT patients underwent bronchoscopic intervention and had no further complications. The 5-year survival rate for malignant PTTs was 13.8%. Patients who had ACC tended to have better survival rates than those with SCC, although the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.104). Compared with tumors located in upper third of the trachea, tumors located in the lower portion showed worse survival (P=0.0003). Patients who underwent complete surgical resection had significantly better survival compared to non-surgical therapies (P=0.016). The combination of chemoradiotherapy and bronchoscopic intervention was better than chemoradiotherapy alone (P=0.028).
Conclusions: Histologic type, tumor location and treatment approaches likely influence clinical outcomes. Within the cohort described here, complete surgical resection was the optimal therapy for PTTs. For unresectable malignant PTTS, chemoradiotherapy with bronchoscopic intervention was a superior modality. Given the poor 5-year survival of PTT, larger-scale, multi-center studies are warranted to validate our findings and identify optimal therapeutic interventions.