The role of surgery in N2 non-small cell lung cancer.

Malcolm M. DeCamp, Simon Ashiku, Robert Thurer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Historical series document the poor survival (7-16% at 5 years) for patients with N2-positive, stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with primary surgery. In 1994, two small randomized trials showed the superiority of induction chemotherapy followed by surgery over surgery alone for stage IIIA NSCLC. These findings, as well as subsequent studies showing the superiority of chemoradiotherapy over chemotherapy alone in nonoperable stage III disease, prompted investigations of preoperative chemoradiotherapy for N2-positive patients. As induction therapy improved, the use of resection in stage IIIA NSCLC was called into question. An Intergroup trial addressing this issue randomized 392 patients to induction chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery versus definitive chemoradiotherapy. Surgery following induction chemoradiotherapy was associated with a significant improvement in progression-free survival and almost a 50% reduction in local failure. As distant relapse is common, survival is likely to be enhanced only in those patients who respond to the systemic arm of treatment. Identification of genetic or biochemical markers of response, minimally invasive techniques to pathologically restage, or improved statistical or chemosensitivity analyses are needed to enhance our ability to select patients who will benefit from resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5033s-5037s
JournalClinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
Issue number13 Pt 2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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