Minimally invasive palliative interventions in advanced lung cancer

Christopher Mallow, Margaret Hayes, Roy Semaan, Thomas Smith, Russell Hales, Roy Brower, Lonny Yarmus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Nearly 85% of all lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage, with an associated five-year survival rate of 4%. Malignant central airway obstruction and malignant pleural effusions occur in upwards of 30% of these patients. Many of these patients are in need of palliative interventions for symptom control and to help improve their quality of life. Areas covered: This review covers the treatment modalities of malignant central airway obstruction and malignant pleural effusion. PubMed was used to search for the most up to date and clinically relevant articles that guide current treatment strategies. This review focuses on rigid bronchoscopy and the tools used for the relief of central airway obstruction, as well as intra-pleural catheter use and pleurodesis for the management of malignant pleural effusions. Expert commentary: There are multiple treatment modalities that may be used to help alleviate the symptoms of malignant central airway obstruction and pleural effusion. The modality used depends on the urgency of the situation, and specific patient’s goals. An open dialog to understand the patient’s end of life goals is an important factor when choosing the appropriate treatment strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-614
Number of pages10
JournalExpert review of respiratory medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Malignant central airway obstruction
  • interventional pulmonology
  • lung cancer
  • malignant pleural effusion
  • palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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