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Cancer. 2009 Mar 1;115(5):1059-69. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24133.

Factors associated with local and distant recurrence and survival in patients with resected nonsmall cell lung cancer.

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Division of Radiation Oncology, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.



This study assessed the impact of surgical, histopathologic and patient-related factors on the risks of local and distant recurrence and overall survival for patients with stages I through IIIA nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) undergoing definitive resection with or without adjuvant chemotherapy.


This study included 373 consecutive patients treated between 2000 and 2005 who did not receive adjuvant or neoadjuvant radiotherapy, had at least 3 months of follow-up, and did not have a history of other cancers within 5 years of the diagnosis of their NSCLC. Of these, 52% had pathologic stage IA disease, 30% had stage IB, 5% had stage IIA, 8% had stage IIB and 5% had stage III disease. Forty-four patients received chemotherapy.


The median follow-up was 33 months. Local failure rates at 2 years, 3 years, and 5 years were 16%, 22%, and 32%, respectively; distant recurrence rates were 13%, 15%, and 21%, respectively. Multivariable analysis revealed that local recurrence was significantly associated with the presence of lymphatic or vascular invasion (LVI), the use of chemotherapy, and having diabetes; distant recurrence was significantly higher in patients with nonsquamous cell histology, those undergoing pneumonectomy, and those with more advanced TNM stage. Survival was significantly associated with age, history of myocardial infarction, performance of a pneumonectomy, histology, LVI, and the number of positive N1 lymph nodes.


Local recurrence was the predominant type of failure in this series. Patient with diabetes or LVI may benefit from close surveillance and aggressive therapy of asymptomatic local recurrences, especially when chemotherapy is given in addition to surgery.

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