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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Mar 15;76(4):1100-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.03.017. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Comparative survival in patients with postresection recurrent versus newly diagnosed non-small-cell lung cancer treated with radiotherapy.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



To compare the survival of postresection recurrent vs. newly diagnosed non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy.


The study population consisted of 661 consecutive patients with NSCLC registered in the radiation oncology databases at two medical centers in the United States between 1992 and 2004. Of the 661 patients, 54 had postresection recurrent NSCLC and 607 had newly diagnosed NSCLC. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models were used for the survival analyses.


The distribution of relevant clinical factors between these two groups was similar. The median survival time and 5-year overall survival rates were 19.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.9-25.7) and 14.8% (95% confidence interval, 5.4-24.2%) vs. 12.2 months (95% CI, 10.8-13.6) and 11.0% (95% CI, 8.5-13.5%) for recurrent vs. newly diagnosed patients, respectively (p = .037). For Stage I-III patients, no significant difference was observed in the 5-year overall survival (p = .297) or progression-free survival (p = .935) between recurrent and newly diagnosed patients. For the 46 patients with Stage I-III recurrent disease, multivariate analysis showed that chemotherapy was a significant prognostic factor for 5-year progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.224-0.914; p = .027).


Our institutional data have shown that patients with postresection recurrent NSCLC achieved survival comparable to that of newly diagnosed NSCLC patients when they were both treated with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. These findings suggest that patients with postresection recurrent NSCLC should be treated as aggressively as those with newly diagnosed disease.

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