Predictors of survival following surgical resection of limited-stage small cell lung cancer.

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The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery


BACKGROUND: Adjuvant chemotherapy, postoperative radiation (PORT), and prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) have been individually examined in limited-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). There is a paucity of data on the effectiveness of each adjuvant treatment modality when used in combination after surgical resection of SCLC.

METHODS: Data were collected from 5 cancer centers on all patients with limited-stage SCLC who underwent surgical resection between 1986 and 2019. Univariate and multivariable models were conducted to identify predictors of long-term outcomes, focusing on freedom from recurrence and survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy, PORT, and PCI.

RESULTS: A total of 164 patients were analyzed. Multivariable Cox regression analysis did not identify any adjuvant therapies to significantly influence recurrence in this cohort. Specifically, PORT was not associated with a significant influence on locoregional recurrence and PCI was not significantly associated with intracranial outcomes. Adjuvant chemotherapy improved survival in all stage I through III disease (hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.29-0.81; P = .005) and even in pathologically node negative patients (hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.91; P = .024). Although PCI was found to improve survival in univariate analysis, it was not significant in a multivariable model. PORT was not found to affect survival on either univariate or multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: This is among the largest multi-institutional studies on surgically resected limited-stage SCLC. Our results highlight survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy, but did not identify a statistically significant influence from mediastinal PORT or PCI in our cohort. Larger prospective studies are needed to determine the benefit of PORT or PCI in a surgically resected limited-stage SCLC population.

Clinical Institute







Swedish Thoracic Surgery