Study Finds More Patients Treated for and Surviving Early-Stage NSCLC

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Nirav S. Kapadia, MD

Nirav S. Kapadia, MD

WITH THE ADVANCEMENT of surgical and radiation therapy strategies for stage I non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), more patients are being treated, resulting in higher survival rates, according to a study published online in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.1 

“More and more patients are being cured of lung cancer, with both surgery and radiation as good treatment options,” said lead author Nirav S. Kapadia, MD, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. “Our study optimistically suggests that if current trends persist, survival for NSCLC will continue to improve over time.” 

Dr. Kapadia and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of eligible patients from 2000 to 2010 diagnosed with their first stage I NSCLC. Data were collected using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-18 database. 

The researchers found the 2-year overall survival for patients who were treated with either surgery or radiation therapy increased from 61% in 2000 to 70% in 2009. This improvement corresponded to a 3.5% annual decrease in the risk of death from lung cancer. 

The data showed an increasing trend toward treatment with surgery or radiotherapy for stage I NSCLC. The researchers concluded that these increases were likely due to the availability of less-invasive surgical procedures and more advanced techniques for delivering radiotherapy. 

Although the study revealed that fewer patients were untreated over time, a significant proportion of patients still do not receive treatment for “an otherwise highly curable disease,” explained Dr. Kapadia. ■

DISCLOSURE: For full disclosures of the authors, visit 


1. Kapadia NS, et al: Ann Thorac Surg. October 26, 2017 (early release online).




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