Postsurgical chemotherapy in stage IB nonsmall cell lung cancer: Long-term survival in a randomized study

Mario Roselli, Sabrina Mariotti, Patrizia Ferroni, Anastasia Laudisi, Davide Mineo, Eugenio Pompeo, Vincenzo Ambrogi, Tommaso C. Mineo

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Although surgical resection is considered the adequate treatment in early stages of nonsmall cell lung cancer, long-term survival is not satisfactory and recurrence rate is high. We previously showed that postoperative chemotherapy at stage IB reduces recurrences and prolongs overall survival. We extended size and observation period of the study sample and performed a separate analysis for minimally resected patients. The trial was designed as a randomized, 2-armed study with postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy versus surgery alone as control group. All patients had stage IB disease (pT2N0) assessed after a radical surgical procedure (defined as anatomical or minimal). Chemotherapy consisted of cisplatin (100 mg/m2 day 1) and etoposide (120 mg/m2 days 1-3) for 6 cycles. The primary endpoint was overall survival; secondary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS). One hundred and forty patients entered the study: 70 were assigned to the adjuvant chemotherapy group and 70 to the control group. Groups were homogeneous for conventional risk factors. There was no clinically significant morbidity associated to chemotherapy. Patients were followed for a mean period of 40.31 ± 30.86 months. A significant difference in overall (p = 0.02) and disease-free (p = 0.0001) survival was observed between patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy vs. control group. Adjuvant chemotherapy significantly improved both overall (p = 0.02) and DFS (p = 0.003) of anatomically resected patients, but only the DFS (p = 0.02) of minimally resected patients. Our results confirm that adjuvant chemotherapy may have a real impact on long-term survival in patients with stage IB nonsmall cell lung cancer being this effect especially evident for those anatomically resected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-960
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2006


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Long-term survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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