Results presented at this year’s Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology, which was hosted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and The University of Chicago Medicine, have shown that non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who received post-operative radiation therapy (PORT) after surgery had an increased survival rate of 4 months when compared to patients who did not receive PORT.
The study, titled “Post-Operative Radiotherapy (PORT) is Associated with Better Survival in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with Involved N2 Lymph Nodes” and conducted by John L. Mikell, MD, chief resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta and colleagues, analyzed 2,115 NSCLC patients’ records who were treated from 2004 to 2006 from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), who had received surgery to resect lung cancer with pathologically involved N2 lymph nodes and who had received chemotherapy.
PORT has already been shown in previous studies to decrease local and regional recurrences, an effect noted most clearly in stage N2 patients and those with positive surgical margins.
The analysis demonstrated that 43% of all patients analyzed received PORT, while 56.6% did not undergo this treatment.
Using different statistical models, the researcher team found that patients who were treated with PORT presented with an improved survival rate, observed at 42 months, when compared to 38 months for patients who did not receive PORT.
Furthermore, different factors such as gender (female), adenocarcinoma histology, higher income, urban/rural setting vs. metropolitan setting, lower T state, lymph node involvement and age (younger), all correlated to an improved overall survival.
“These results reinforce the value of PORT for non-small cell lung cancer patients with involved mediastinal lymph nodes. Our data indicates that with modern radiotherapy equipment and treatment techniques, PORT can improve survival for these patients. The data in this study, the largest, most recent cohort of patients with involved mediastinal nodes treated with chemotherapy reinforce that PORT should be considered in addition to chemotherapy following resection of non-small cell lung cancer,”Dr. Mikell explained in an ASTRO news release.