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Consolidation chemotherapy improves progression-free survival in stage III small-cell lung cancer following concurrent chemoradiotherapy: a retrospective study

Authors Chen X, liang J, Ma S, Fang W, Zhou N, Liao H, Li D, Chen L

Received 22 May 2016

Accepted for publication 25 July 2016

Published 19 September 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 5729—5736


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Cho

Xin-Ru Chen,1,* Jian-Zhong Liang,2,* Shu-Xiang Ma,1 Wen-Feng Fang,1 Ning-Ning Zhou,1 Hai Liao,1 De-Lan Li,1 Li-Kun Chen1

1Department of Medical Oncology, 2Department of Pathology, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) is the standard treatment for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (LD-SCLC). However, the efficacy of consolidation chemotherapy (CCT) in LD-SCLC remains controversial despite several studies that were performed in the early years of CCT use. The aim of this study was to reevaluate the effectiveness and toxicities associated with CCT.
Methods: This retrospective analysis evaluated 177 patients with stage IIIA and IIIB small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) who underwent CCRT from January 2001 to December 2013 at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center (SYSUCC). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed using Kaplan–Meier methods. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to analyze patient prognosis factors.
Results: Among the 177 patients, 72 (41%) received CCT and 105 (59%) did not receive CCT. PFS was significantly better for patients in the CCT group compared to that for patients in the non-CCT group (median PFS: 17.0 vs 12.9 months, respectively, P=0.031), whereas the differences in OS were not statistically significant (median OS: 31.6 vs 24.8 months, respectively, P=0.118). The 3- and 5-year OS rates were 33.3% and 20.8% for patients in the CCT group and 27.6% and 6.7% for patients in the non-CCT group, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that having a pretreatment carcinoembryonic antigen level <5 ng/mL (P=0.035), having undergone prophylactic cranial irradiation (P<0.001), and having received CCT (P=0.002) could serve as favorable independent prognostic factors for PFS. Multivariate analysis for OS also showed that having undergone PCI (P<0.001) and having received CCT (P=0.006) were independent significant prognostic factors.
Conclusion: CCT can improve PFS for patients with stage IIIA and IIIB SCLC following CCRT without significantly increasing treatment-related toxicities.

Keywords: stage III, small-cell lung cancer, consolidation chemotherapy, survival analysis, prognosis, toxicities

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