For Some Patients with Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), Aggressive Treatment Improves 5-Year Survival

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According to new findings presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, aggressive treatment for low-risk patients with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) results in a 5-year overall survival rate of 47.8%.

 

In the study, researchers identified 757 patients with stage 4 NSCLC from various studies. All patients had between one and five metastases treated aggressively by being surgically removed or killed using high-dose stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR). All patients also received aggressive treatment to combat the original tumor in the lungs.

 

The researchers identified three risk groups of patients based on various factors, including time to when metastases appeared, local lymph node involvement, and type of lung cancer. Patients in the low-risk category achieved an average 5-year overall survival rate of 47.8%. Patients with intermediate-risk had a 5-year overall survival rate of 36.2%, and high-risk patients had a 5-year overall survival of only 13.8%. Furthermore, more than half of all patients independent of treatment option progressed within 1 year of treatment.

For Some Patients with Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), Aggressive Treatment Improves 5-Year Survival
Aggressive treatment for low-risk stage 4 NSCLC results in a 5-year overall survival rate of 47.8%.

A large, international analysis of patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) indicates that a patient's overall survival (OS) rate can be related to factors including the timing of when metastases develop and lymph node involvement, and that aggressive treatment for "low-risk" patients leads to a five-year OS rate of 47.8 percent, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 56th Annual Meeting.

When lung cancer has spread from an original tumor to other sites of the body, it is classified as metastatic (Stage IV), and the goal of treatment is to slow the cancer down with chemotherapy or radiation, but these treatments are unable to eradicate the cancer and survival is usually in the range of only a few months.

However, when there are only a few locations of metastatic lung cancer (called oligo-metastatic), some studies suggest that by removing or eradicating each of those cancer deposits with aggressive treatments such as surgery or high-dose, precise radiation called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy or SABR, the cancer may be controlled for a long period of time.

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