Is major pathologic response sufficient to predict survival in resectable nonsmall-cell lung cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy?

Jing-Sheng Cai, Shuo Li, Shu-Mei Yan, Jie Yang, Mu-Zi Yang, Chu-Long Xie, Ji-Bin Li, Yan-Fen Feng, Hao-Xian Yang, Xue Hou
Thoracic Cancer 2021 March 10

BACKGROUND: Major pathologic response (MPR) is mainly focused on residual viable tumor in the tumor bed regardless of lymph node. Herein, we investigated the predictive value of MPR and node status on survival in nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and surgery.

METHODS: A total of 194 eligible cases were included. Tumor pathologic response and node status were assessed. Based on these evaluations, patients were divided into the MPR group and the non-MPR group, the nodal downstaging (ND) group and non-ND group. Furthermore, patients were assigned into four subgroups (MPR + ND, MPR + non-ND, non-MPR + ND, and non-MPR + non-ND). Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were compared between groups. Multivariate analyses were performed to identify prognostic factors.

RESULTS: MPR was identified in 32 patients and ND was present in 108 patients. OS and DFS were better in the MPR group than in the non-MPR group, but with no statistical significance (OS, p = 0.158; DFS, p = 0.126). The ND group had better OS than the non-ND group (p = 0.031). However, the DFS between these two groups was comparable (p = 0.103). Further analyses suggested that both OS and DFS were better in the MPR + ND group than in the non-MPR + non-ND group (OS, p = 0.017; DFS, p = 0.029). Multivariate analyses confirmed that MPR + ND was an independent favorable predictor.

CONCLUSIONS: MPR combined with ND could improve the predictive value on survival in NSCLC patients receiving NAC.

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