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Clin Lung Cancer. 2012 Jan;13(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2011.06.011.

The prognostic significance of lymphovascular invasion on biopsy specimens in lung cancer treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy.

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Département de Radiothérapie et Oncologie, Institut Claudius Regaud, Toulouse, France.



This study aims to determine prognostic factors for patients who have non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is treated with definitive chemoradiation therapy.


Seventy-eight patients has been treated with radiation therapy and concomitant or sequential chemotherapy between 2000 and 2005. Paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens were obtained before treatment from 73 patients and reviewed by two independent pathologists. Complete follow-up data were collected. The impact of clinical and pathological factors and treatment modality on survival was studied using the χ(2) and Fisher exact tests. A multivariate analysis was performed using the Cox proportional hazard model.


Seventy-three patients were evaluated, 58 men and 15 women. Median age was 62 years. Most had locally advanced disease (42 stage IIIB and 24 stage IIIA), whereas 7 were medically inoperable stage I-II patients. Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) was identified in 20 biopsy specimens (27.4 %). Radiotherapy delivered a median dose of 66 Gy (range, 60 to 70 Gy). The median overall survival was 20.5 months. Relapse-free and overall survival were significantly higher in the concomitant arm than in the sequential arm (P = .025 and P = .031, respectively). We found an independent association between the presence of LVI and both the risk of death with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 2.69 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.50-4.83) and the risk of metastatic progression (adjusted HR = 3.01; 95% CI 1.58-5.72).


The presence of LVI on stage III NSCLC biopsy specimens was the only independent prognostic factor for poor outcome and may, therefore, be helpful in identifying patients at high risk of metastatic disease.

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