Post-treatment mortality after definitive chemoradiotherapy versus trimodality therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Waqar Haque, Vivek Verma, E. Brian Butler, Bin S. Teh, Chad G. Rusthoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is commonly managed with either definitive chemoradiation (dCRT) or neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgery (nCRT + S). This study sought to compare 30- and 90-day mortality between nCRT + S and dCRT for these patients. Methods: The National Cancer Database was queried (2004–2014) for clinicall staged T1-3N2 or T3-4N0-1 (except T3N0) NSCLC that received nCRT + S or dCRT. Statistics included cumulative incidence analysis of 30- and 90-day mortality (before and following propensity score matching) and Cox proportional hazards regressions. Results: Of 28,379 patients, 4063 (14.3%) underwent nCRT-S, and 24,316 (85.6%) dCRT. Of the trimodality patients, 79.2% received lobectomy, 8.2% sublobar resection, and 12.5% pneumonectomy. Trimodality therapy and age, in addition to several soceiodempographic and oncologic variables, were associated with 30- and 90-day mortality. Short-term mortality was significantly higher with nCRT + S compared to dCRT at both 30 (3.4% vs. 0.8%, p < 0.001) and 90days (7.5% vs. 6.6%, p = 0.017), which persisted following propensity matching (3.4% vs. 0.4% and 7.5% vs. 5.3% respectively, both p < 0.001). At both 30 and 90 days, pneumonectomy was associated with higher mortality than lobectomy (6.1% vs. 2.9% and 11.1% vs. 6.9% respectively, both p < 0.001). Conclusions: Treatment with nCRT + S was associated with greater 30- and 90- day post-treatment mortality when compared to treatment with dCRT, with larger differences in observed in 30-day post-treatment mortality. These data may inform shared-decsion making among patients eligible for both aproaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalLung Cancer
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Chemoradiation
  • Lobectomy
  • Mortality
  • Non-Small cell lung cancer
  • Pneumonectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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