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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Oct 1;66(2):492-9. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

Trends in the use of postoperative radiotherapy for resected non-small-cell lung cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



A 1998 meta-analysis of postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) found that PORT did not improve outcomes. Yet practice guidelines differ in their recommendations with regard to PORT use. We examine temporal trends in PORT use before and after the 1998 meta-analysis.


Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, we identified 22,953 patients with Stage I, II, or IIIA NSCLC who had resection between 1992 and 2002 in the United States and characterized each patient according to nodal status (N0, N1, or N2 disease). We measured use of PORT by calendar year. We examined the association between clinical and demographic characteristics and receipt of PORT using logistic regression.


For N0, N1, and N2 NSCLC, PORT use has declined. The proportion of patients with N0 disease receiving PORT declined from 8% in 1992 to 4% in 2002. For patients with N1 disease, PORT use declined from 51% in 1992 to 19% in 2002; and for patients with N2 disease, PORT use declined from 65% in 1992 to 37% in 2002.


In the context of uncertainty about what constitutes optimal adjuvant treatment for resected NSCLC, PORT use has substantially declined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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