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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Apr 1;79(5):1388-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.12.066. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Impact of neoadjuvant radiation on survival in stage III non-small-cell lung cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. mkoshy@umm.edu



The role of surgery in Stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is controversial. This study was undertaken to assess the impact of neoadjuvant radiation therapy for Stage III NSCLC.


This was a retrospective study from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database that included patients who were 18 years and older with NSCLC classified as Stage III and who underwent definitive therapy from 1988 to 2004. Patients were characterized by type of treatment received. Survival functions were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox regression model was used to analyze trends in overall (OS) and cause-specific survival (CSS).


A total of 48,131 patients were selected, with a median follow-up of 10 months (range, 0-203 months). By type of treatment, the 3-year OS was 10% with radiation therapy (RT), 37% with surgery (S), 34% with surgery and postoperative radiation (S-RT), and 45% with neoadjuvant radiation followed by surgery (Neo-RT) (p = 0.0001). Multivariable Cox model identified sex, race, laterality, T stage, N stage, and type of treatment as factors affecting survival. Estimated hazard ratios (HR) adjusted for other variables in regression model showed the types of treatment: S (HR, 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-1.4), S-RT (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3), and RT (HR, 2.3; 95% CI, 2.15-2.53) were associated with significantly worse overall survival when compared with Neo-RT (p = 0.0001).


This population based study demonstrates that patients with Stage III NSCLC receiving Neo-RT had significantly improved overall survival when compared with other treatment groups.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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