Background: The optimal treatment of patients with Stage IIIA NSCLC, a heterogeneous group comprised of T1-T4, N0-N2 disease, is controversial. Lack of clear data and guidelines allows several options for treatment, and hence there has been significant variability in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the nationwide trends in rates of surgery for Stage IIIA lung cancer diagnosed between 2000-2013. Methods: The study included patients with Stage IIIA NSCLC, 18 years and older diagnosed between 2000 and 2013. We used Z-tests in SEER*Stat to compare relative survival rates for patients diagnosed between 2000-2010. Results: Among the 27,697 patients with Stage IIIA NSCLC, 45% were females and median age was 67. 35% were treated with surgery. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that year of diagnosis, race, marital status, geographic region, tumor size, tumor grade, nodal status all were significantly associated with the use of surgery. Relative survival at 24 months (RS24) was 62% for patients who had surgery and 29% for patients without surgery (z = -47.3). The proportion of patients receiving surgery decreased from 55.6% in 2000 to 32.6% in 2010 and 29.7 in 2013 (p < 0.0001) while the relative survival at 24 months (RS24) from 2000 to 2010 rose from 34.7% to 43.2% (z = -4.89). The RS24 for patients who received surgery rose from 55.3% in 2000 to 77.6 % in 2010 (z = -3.58). Change in RS24 for patients who did not have surgery also improved from 19.6% to 31.2%. The median RS of the surgical cohort changed from 28 m to 44 m. Conclusions: Based upon reporting within the SEER database, the proportion of stage IIIA NSCLC patients undergoing surgery has decreased over the study time period. However, the relative survival rates have improved significantly for both the overall group and those having surgery, suggesting that significant strides have been made both in selecting the group of patients who would benefit from surgical resection and in the overall management of this group of patients.
- JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Journal
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