Radiotherapy versus chemotherapy plus radiotherapy in surgically treated IIIA N2 non-small-cell lung cancer.
Preoperative chemotherapy in patients with stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains controversial. Phase II trials utilizing preoperative chemotherapy in selected patients have achieved complete resection rates of 50%-70% with 3-5 year failure-free survival rates of 15%-33%. Between October 1992 and November 1994, 57 adults (50 of whom were evaluable) with surgically staged IIIA NSCLC and pathologically documented ipsilateral mediastinal nodal involvement (N2) were enrolled in a Cancer and Leukemia Group B randomized trial. Preoperative therapy was thought to be critical to facilitating surgical resectability. For patients randomized to the radiotherapy/surgery/radiotherapy (RSR) arm (n = 24), treatment consisted of preoperative radiation therapy (RT) at 40 Gy, surgery, and then additional RT at 14-20 Gy. For patients randomized to the chemotherapy/surgery/chemotherapy/radiotherapy (CSCR) arm (n = 26), treatment consisted of 2 cycles of cisplatin/etoposide with filgrastim support (PE) followed by surgery, 2 more cycles of PE, then RT 54-60 Gy. The total dose of RT on either arm was 54 Gy if completely resected or 60 Gy if incompletely resected or unresected. Clinical characteristics were well balanced between the two arms. Thoracotomy was performed in 42 patients (84%), 28 (67%) of whom had complete resection. The median failure-free and overall survival rates were 12 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 9-23 months) and 23 months (95% CI, 19 months-infinity) for the RSR arm and 11 months (95% CI, 5-20 months) and 18 months (95% CI, 12-32 months) for the CSCR arm. The rates of overall and complete surgical resection, downstaging of nodal involvement, and failure-free (P = 0.92) and overall survival (P = 0.41) did not differ between the two treatment arms. Moreover, in this trial, the chemotherapy regimen was sufficiently toxic to have had a lower completion rate of prescribed therapy in the CSCR arm than in the RSR arm.
Elias, AD; Kumar, P; Herndon, J; Skarin, AT; Sugarbaker, DJ; Green, MR
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