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Adjuvant Therapy Ups Survival in Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Improved survival for chemotherapy with or without cranial irradiation versus surgery alone

lung x-ray

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) undergoing resection, treatment with adjuvant chemotherapy or chemotherapy with cranial irradiation is associated with improved survival compared with surgery alone, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, M.D., from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the potential benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy with and without prophylactic cranial irradiation in 954 patients who underwent complete resection for early-stage SCLC. The authors assessed overall survival of patients with pathologic T1-2N0M0 SCLC, stratified by adjuvant therapy regimen.

The researchers found that the five-year survival was 47 percent. Overall, adjuvant therapy was administered to 59 percent of patients. Adjuvant chemotherapy, with or without radiation, correlated with significantly improved survival compared with surgery alone. Compared with no adjuvant therapy, treatment with adjuvant chemotherapy or chemotherapy with radiation directed at the brain correlated with improved survival (hazard ratios, 0.78 and 0.52, respectively).

"Patients with pT1-2N0M0 SCLC treated with surgical resection alone have worse outcomes than those who undergo resection with adjuvant chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with cranial irradiation," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to a manufacturing company.

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