Patient prognostic scores and association with survival improvement offered by postoperative radiotherapy for resected IIIA/N2 non-small cell lung cancer: A population-based study

Lei Xu, Hou-Nai Xie, Xian-Kai Chen, Nan Bi, Jian-Jun Qin, Yin Li
Thoracic Cancer 2021 January 22

BACKGROUND: Currently, there is no consensus on the role of postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy (PORT) for resected stage IIIA/N2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Our study sought to determine which patients may be able to benefit from PORT, based on a patient prognostic score.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to identify patients diagnosed with IIIA/N2 NSCLC between 1988 and 2016 in the SEER database. Eligible patients were divided into the following two groups: PORT group and non-PORT group. We classified patient prognostic scores as an ordinal factor and stratified patients based on prognostic scores. A Cox proportional hazards model with propensity score weighting was performed to evaluate cancer-specific mortality (CSM) between the two groups.

RESULTS: We identified 7060 eligible patients with IIIA/N2 NSCLC, 2833 (40.1%) in the PORT group and 4227 (59.9%) in the non-PORT group. Overall, the 10-year CSM rate in the weighted cohorts was 70.4% in the PORT group, 72.0% in the non-PORT group, and patients who received PORT had a lower CSM rate (p = 0.001). Compared with the non-PORT group, significant survival improvements in the PORT group were observed in patients with higher age, grade, T stage and lymph node ratio (LNR), and without chemotherapy. The improved survival of patients receiving PORT was significantly correlated with patient prognostic scores (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: In our population-based study, the prognostic score was associated with the survival improvement offered by PORT in IIIA/N2 NSCLC, suggesting that prognostic scores and clinicopathological characteristics may be helpful in proper candidate selection for PORT.

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