Use and impact of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with resected non-small cell lung cancer

Authors

  • Christina D. Williams PhD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Hematology-Oncology, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
    • Corresponding author: Christina D. Williams, PhD, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton St (152), Durham, NC 27705; Fax: (919) 416-8025; Christina.Williams4@va.gov

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  • Ajeet Gajra MD,

    1. Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York
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  • Apar K. Ganti MD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, Omaha, Nebraska
    2. Division of Oncology/Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
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  • Michael J. Kelley MD

    1. Division of Hematology-Oncology, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
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  • Presented in part at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; May 31-June 4, 2013; Chicago, IL.

  • The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Despite clinical trials demonstrating improved survival with adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) for patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer stages I to III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), it is unclear whether this survival benefit extends to broader populations. The current study evaluated patterns of AC use and examined the impact of AC on survival.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was conducted of patients in the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry diagnosed with stages IB to IIIA NSCLC between 2001 and 2008. Descriptive statistics were used to examine patterns of AC use over an 8-year time period. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to estimate hazards ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to compare mortality risk among patients treated with and without AC.

RESULTS

Among 14,306 patients with stages IB to IIIA NSCLC, 4929 underwent surgery and 22% of these received AC. The percentages of patients diagnosed in 2001 through 2003, 2004 through 2005, and 2006 through 2008 receiving AC were 7.0%, 29.8%, and 29.5%, respectively. There was no survival benefit with AC noted for patients diagnosed between 2001 and 2003, but AC was associated with improved survival for the period between 2004 and 2005 (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.67-0.91) and 2006 through 2008 (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69-0.91). Of those patients receiving AC, 89% received platinum-doublet chemotherapy. Carboplatin remained the most common agent, although cisplatin use reached 43% in the period between 2006 and 2008. The HR for cisplatin relative to carboplatin was 0.96 (95% CI, 0.80-1.15).

CONCLUSIONS

There was a significant increase in the use of AC between 2001 and 2008 and AC was associated with an improvement in overall survival. Cancer 2014;120:1939–1947. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

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