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Keywords:

  • bronchioloalveolar carcinoma;
  • disease-free survival;
  • nonsmall cell carcinoma;
  • lymph node-positive

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The objective of this study was to assess whether disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS) differed among patients who had N1 and N2 bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) compared with patients who had non-BAC nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program database from 1992 to 2002 contained 684 patients with BAC and 9809 patients with non-BAC NSCLC who had N1/N2 tumors and who underwent a definitive surgical procedure. OS and DSS rates were compared according to potential prognostic factors, including the use of a matched-pair analysis.

RESULTS

The BAC patients with either pathologic N1 or N2 lymph node status were significantly more likely to be women, and nonblack/nonwhite race, but significantly less likely to have poorly differentiated or undifferentiated tumors than patients with non-BAC cancers with comparable lymph node status. The median follow-up of all patients was 29 months. There was a significant difference in DSS between patients with N2 BAC and non-BAC cancers, but not for patients with N1 disease. There was a nonsignificant trend toward longer OS for patients with N2 BAC compared with non-BAC cancers.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with lymph node-positive BAC had distinctly different patient and tumor characteristics than patients with lymph node-positive non-BAC NSCLC. Because DSS appears to be better for patients with N2 BAC, they may not benefit as much from adjuvant therapy as patients with non-BAC NSCLC. Cancer 2008. ©2008 American Cancer Society.