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Radiotherapy Helps Survival in Some with Lung Cancer

Those with stage II disease had better survival rates

TUESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stage II or stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and N2 nodal disease treated with post-operative radiation therapy have better survival rates than those who undergo surgery alone, according to a study published online June 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Brian E. Lally, M.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues selected 7,465 NSCLC patients who had received post-operative radiotherapy (PORT) and conducted follow-up for a median of 3.5 years.

Patients younger than 50 who had stage III and IV tumors of a larger size, advanced node stage and greater number of lymph nodes involved were more likely to receive PORT. Factors that had a negative impact on survival included older age, stage III and IV tumors, N2 node stage and male sex.

Although patients who received PORT did not have better overall odds of survival, PORT was associated with significantly better odds of survival in patients with N2 nodal disease. However, PORT was also linked to a significant decrease in odds of survival among patients with N0 and N1 nodal disease.

"Post-operative radiation therapy has failed to demonstrate a survival benefit in the past, likely because previous studies used older equipment," Lally said in a statement. "Our study, which examines the results using modern equipment, shows survival benefit in select patients."

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