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Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Aug;74(2):342-7.

Advanced non-small cell lung cancer: induction chemotherapy and chemoradiation before operation.

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Institute of Oncology, Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Zrifin, Israel.



Induction chemotherapy before operation is beneficial for patients with advanced locoregional non-small cell lung cancer. However, no optimal regimen has been established. This study assesses feasibility, response, resectability, and survival of chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation before operation in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.


Fifty-seven stage IIIA and selected IIIB patients with non-small cell lung cancer received 2/3 cycles of cisplatin and oral etoposide, followed in 3/4 weeks by chemoradiation with daily cisplatin before each radiation fraction. Patients achieving a resectable status underwent operation.


Response to induction treatment was documented in 73%; 69% achieved a resectable status and 53% underwent operation. Median survival was 16 months. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 65%, 35% and 22%, respectively. There was no difference in survival between stage IIIA and IIIB disease. Myelotoxicity was moderate to severe (grade III/IV in 61% of patients). Three patients died of late complications of pneumonectomy.


Our presurgery chemotherapy and chemoradiation protocol yields high response and resectability rates, with moderate to severe myelotoxicity. Pneumonectomy is associated with a relatively high rate of late complications.

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