Higher Use of Surgery Confers Superior Survival in Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
BACKGROUND: Lobar resection is the gold standard therapy for medically fit patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, considerable variability exists in the use of surgical therapy. This study tested the hypothesis that center-based variation in the use of surgical therapy affects survival in NSCLC. METHODS: We queried the National Cancer Database for patients with stage I NSCLC. Mixed-effects multivariable models were developed to establish the per-center adjusted rate of surgical therapy. Patients were stratified into quartiles based on the treating center's adjusted rate of surgical therapy. Survival was estimated and then tested by using Kaplan-Meier and the log-rank test. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were developed to estimate the effect of rate of surgical therapy on overall survival. RESULTS: A total of 139,802 patients met the criteria. There was wide variation in the per-center rate of surgical resection in the highest (80.8%) versus lowest (41.4%, p < 0.001) quartile. Across cohorts, patients were similar in age (mean 68.8 years in the highest quartile versus 69.7 in the lowest quartile) and Charlson-Deyo Score of 2 or greater (15.1% in the highest quartile versus 14.4% in the lowest quartile). Five-year survival was higher for patients treated at high-use centers (52.7% versus 36.7%, p < 0.001). After adjustment, an adjusted rate of surgical therapy in the lowest 25th percentile was associated with lower survival (adjusted hazard ratio 1.40, 95% confidence interval: 1.37 to 1.40, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment at a center with a higher rate of surgical therapy confers a considerable survival advantage, even after adjustment for hospital volume, surgical approach, and other confounders. Targeted efforts to improve adherence to guidelines about provision of surgical therapy in early-stage NSCLC may represent a meaningful opportunity to improve outcomes.
Mulvihill, MS; Cox, ML; Becerra, DC; Watson, JA; Voigt, SL; Yerokun, BA; Speicher, PJ; D'Amico, TA; Tong, B; Hartwig, MG
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