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J Thorac Dis


Background: Pancoast tumors represent 5% of non-small cell lung cancers. Complete surgical resection and no lymph node involvement are important positive prognostic factors. Previous literature has identified neoadjuvant chemoradiation treatment, followed by surgical resection, as the standard of care. But many institutions choose upfront surgery. Our goal was to identify the treatment patterns and outcomes in patients with node-negative Pancoast tumors using the National Cancer Database (NCDB).

Methods: The NCDB was queried from 2004 through 2017 to identify all patients who had undergone surgery for a Pancoast tumor. Treatment patterns, including the percentage of patients who received neoadjuvant treatment, were recorded. Logistic regression and survival analyses were used to determine outcomes based on different treatment patterns. Secondary analyses were performed on the cohort who received upfront surgery.

Results: A total of 2,910 patients were included in the study. Overall 30- and 90-day mortality were 3% and 7% respectively. Only 25% (717/2,910) of the group received neoadjuvant chemoradiation treatment prior to surgery. Patients who received neoadjuvant chemoradiation treatment experienced significantly improved 90-day survival (P<0.01) and overall survival (P<0.01). When analyzing the cohort who received upfront surgery, there was a statistically significant difference in survival based on adjuvant treatment pattern (P<0.01). Patients in this group who received adjuvant chemoradiation had the best survival, whereas patients who received adjuvant radiation only or no treatment had the worst outcomes.

Conclusions: Patients with Pancoast tumors receive neoadjuvant chemoradiation treatment in only a quarter of cases nationally. Patients who received neoadjuvant chemoradiation treatment had improved survival compared to patients who had upfront surgery. Similarly, when surgery is performed first, adjuvant chemoradiation treatment improved survival compared to other adjuvant strategies. These results suggest underutilization of neoadjuvant treatment for patients with node-negative Pancoast tumors. Future studies with a more clearly defined cohort are needed to assess the treatment patterns being utilized on patients with node-negative Pancoast tumors. It will be beneficial to see whether neoadjuvant treatment for Pancoast tumors has increased in recent years.

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