Prognostic Factors in the Radical Nonsurgical Treatment of Stage IIIB Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Many patients diagnosed with stage IIIB (AJCC sixth edition; T4, N3, or both; no pleural effusion) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are treated with curative intent, despite a low cure rate. Guidelines are required to help select patients for radical therapy so that the patients with little chance of cure may be spared the toxicities of aggressive treatment. A retrospective analysis was performed to investigate factors influencing outcomes in these patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 2002 to 2009, all cases of stage IIIB NSCLC from the authors' institution were identified. Patients treated with radical radiotherapy (minimum dose, 50 Gy), with or without chemotherapy, were included. Charts were reviewed for patient demographic data, baseline blood work, tumor factors, treatment factors, and hospitalizations. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS), measured from time of diagnosis. RESULTS: Of 238 patients identified, 184 eligible cases were reviewed. The median follow-up for all patients was 17.2 months (range, 1.7-237.1). The median progression-free survival was 10.8 months (95% CI, 9.6-12.4). Median survival was 17.9 months, and OS was 68%, 42%, and 28% at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. In multivariate analysis, female gender (hazard ratio [HR], 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.88; P = .0013), ≤ 5% weight loss (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.43-0.93; P = .01), and absence of N3 disease (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.42-0.96; P = .03) were associated with significantly longer survival. CONCLUSION: OS was significantly longer in women, in patients with ≤ 5% weight loss, and in those without N3 disease. Good patient selection remains important in the radical treatment of stage IIIB NSCLC.


  • Russell, Kent
  • Healy, Brian
  • Pantarotto, Jason
  • Laurie, Scott A
  • MacRae, Robert
  • Sabri, Elham
  • Wheatley-Price, Paul

publication date

  • May 2014

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