According to a new study, radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy, with or without surgery, will be an effective treatment for patients with stage 3A non-small-cell lung cancer.
The research team led by Dr. Kathy Albain of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Ill., conducted a comparison study of 202 patients who underwent chemotherapy plus radiotherapy followed by surgery with 194 patients who underwent chemotherapy plus radiotherapy alone, which is the current standard for these patients.
The researchers investigated the overall survival rates of all the patients after five years to draw their conclusions. There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival.
In an exploratory analysis, the researchers found that overall survival rates improved for patients who only had part of a lung removed (lobectomy) rather than an entire lung. They concluded that removing an entire lung left patients more likely to die from acute respiratory distress syndrome or other respiratory diseases.
On the basis of the findings of our study, patients should be counseled about the risks and potential benefits of definitive chemotherapy plus radiotherapy with, and without, a surgical resection (preferably by lobectomy), the authors concluded.