BALTIMORE (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Wedge resection was associated with significantly improved overall 5-year survival, compared with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in patients with operable clinical Stage IA non–small cell lung cancer, according to a study of more than 8,000 patients.

Despite the fact that surgical resection has been the standard of care for early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), an increasing number of patients with potentially operable early-stage NSCLC are now being treated with SBRT, study investigator Dr. Babatunde A. Yerokun said at the annual meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

“Our data show that thoracic surgeons should be included in the evaluation of these patients, and operative candidates with ct1A NO MO NSCLC should continue to receive a wedge resection vs. SBRT when technically feasible,” said Dr. Yerokun of Duke University, Durham, N.C. “Prospective studies are needed to determine the appropriate role of SBRT in management of these patients,” he concluded.

Dr. Yerokun and his colleagues examined overall survival of patients with cT1N0 lung cancer who underwent SBRT or wedge resection as reported in the National Cancer Data Base from 2003 to 2011. Survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and propensity-score matched analysis. The researchers matched groups according to common prognostic covariates, including age, sex, race, education, insurance status, facility type, and Charlson/Deyo comorbidity score, as well as tumor histology, size, and location.

Patients identified as having cT1N0 NSCLC with a tumor less than 2 cm underwent SBRT (1,514 patients) or wedge resection (6,923). Compared with the wedge resection cohort, the SBRT patients were significantly older (74 vs. 69 years) and significantly more likely to be treated at an academic comprehensive cancer program (47% vs. 37%). The median Charlson/Deyo score was lower in the SBRT patients (0 vs. 1).

In unmatched analysis, SBRT was associated with significantly lower survival than wedge resection (5-year overall survival: 32% vs. 55%). In the propensity matching, all baseline covariates, including co-morbidity scores, facility type, and tumor size, were well balanced between the SBRT and wedge groups, with 1,398 patients in each group.

However, even in the matched groups, SBRT was associated with significantly lower 5-year overall survival than wedge (33% vs. 52%). When the investigators performed a propensity matched subgroup analysis in younger patients (age less than 60 years) who had a Charlson/Deyo score of 0, SBRT was associated with worse survival with a 5-year overall survival of 59% vs. 82% for SBRT and wedge resection, respectively.

Additionally, Dr. Yerokun and his colleagues conducted a sensitivity analysis comparing centers that performed predominately wedge resection with centers that performed predominately SBRT. After the exclusion of centers with low-volume and centers that conducted either 100% wedge resection or 100% SBRT only, centers that performed predominately wedge resection were more likely to have significantly better 3-year survival.

A video of the original presentation from the AATS Annual Meeting is available online.

Dr. Yerokun reported that he had no disclosures related to this presentation.

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