Thorac Cancer. 2020 Sep 22. doi: 10.1111/1759-7714.13669. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The prognosis of postoperative recurrence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is poor. However, depending on the recurrence patterns and treatment options, some patients can achieve long-term survival following recurrence. In this study, we investigated the clinicopathological characteristics of NSCLC patients with curable disease who developed postoperative recurrence.
METHODS: This retrospective study enrolled 535 patients who had developed recurrence from among 1760 consecutive patients with NSCLC who underwent curative resection from 1990 to 2008. Post-recurrence cure was defined as being cancer-free for at least five years after treatment for recurrence in patients who had undergone radical local treatment or chemotherapy. The clinicopathological characteristics associated with post-recurrence cure were analyzed.
RESULTS: Among 535 patients who developed recurrence, 24 (4.5%) achieved post-recurrence cure. The median post-recurrence follow-up duration was 151 (85-275) months for those who achieved post-recurrence cure. The solitary recurrent lesions and local treatment for the initial recurrence site were significantly more for patients who could be cured after they developed recurrence. All patients with post-recurrence cure received only radical local treatment for the recurrent lesions.
CONCLUSIONS: Some patients with solitary recurrent NSCLC lesions can be cured with only radical local treatment.
KEY POINTS: Significant findings of the study The post-recurrence cure patients maintained a cancer-free status for five years after treatment for recurrence without a second recurrence. All patients with post-recurrence cure received only radical local treatment for recurrence and had significantly higher number of solitary recurrent lesions. What this study adds Some patients with solitary recurrent NSCLC lesions after resection can be cured with only radical local treatment.