Variability in the treatment of elderly patients with stage IIIA (N2) non-small-cell lung cancer.
INTRODUCTION: : We evaluated treatment patterns of elderly patients with stage IIIA (N2) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS: : The use of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation for patients with stage IIIA (T1-T3N2M0) NSCLC in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database from 2004 to 2007 was analyzed. Treatment variability was assessed using a multivariable logistic regression model that included treatment, patient, tumor, and census track variables. Overall survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier approach and Cox proportional hazard models. RESULTS: : The most common treatments for 2958 patients with stage IIIA (N2) NSCLC were radiation with chemotherapy (n = 1065, 36%), no treatment (n = 534, 18%), and radiation alone (n = 383, 13%). Surgery was performed in 709 patients (24%): 235 patients (8%) had surgery alone, 40 patients (1%) had surgery with radiation, 222 patients had surgery with chemotherapy (8%), and 212 patients (7%) had surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Younger age (p < 0.0001), lower T-status (p < 0.0001), female sex (p = 0.04), and living in a census track with a higher median income (p = 0.03) predicted surgery use. Older age (p < 0.0001) was the only factor that predicted that patients did not get any therapy. The 3-year overall survival was 21.8 ± 1.5% for all patients, 42.1 ± 3.8% for patients that had surgery, and 15.4 ± 1.5% for patients that did not have surgery. Increasing age, higher T-stage and Charlson Comorbidity Index, and not having surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy were all risk factors for worse survival (all p values < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: : Treatment of elderly patients with stage IIIA (N2) NSCLC is highly variable and varies not only with specific patient and tumor characteristics but also with regional income level.
Berry, MF; Worni, M; Pietrobon, R; D'Amico, TA; Akushevich, I
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