Study Shows Experienced Care Facilities Improve Survival in NSCLC

The study, published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, found that patients treated with definitive concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy for stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer have longer overall survival when treated by highly experienced facilities, either academic or community cancer centers.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related death in the US with 159,000 deaths and 224,000 diagnoses each year, with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounting for 85% of the cases. The stage of lung cancer is determined based on the size of the tumor, the extent and location of lymph node involvement, and whether or not the tumor has metastasized to distant regions. Approximately one quarter of NSCLC cases are diagnosed at stage 3, with only 25% of those patients surviving at least 5 years. National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines support the use of definitive

concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy

(

CCRT) as a standard-of-care treatment option for patients with locally advanced stage 3 NSCLC.

Researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine analyzed data from the National Cancer Database (NCDB), a joint project of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society, for patients who were treated with definitive CCRT for stage 3 NSCLC diagnosed and clinically staged between 2004 and 2006. They sought to determine if there was a relationship between treatments at facilities with expertise in treating a large number of CCRT cases and improved overall survival, as well as determine if any patient characteristics were associated with treatment at high-volume facilities.

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