Background: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is increasingly being offered for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We sought to evaluate long-term survival outcomes after lobectomy and SBRT in patients aged 80 years or more with stage I NSCLC. Methods: The National Cancer Database was queried for patients with clinical stage IA and IB (size 40 mm or smaller) NSCLC who underwent SBRT or lobectomy. Only patients with no comorbidities were selected. Number of lymph nodes (LN) examined was used to stratify lobectomy patients into 0 LN, 1 to 6 LN, and 7 or more LN. Propensity score analysis was used to adjust treatment groups. Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox regression analysis were used for survival analysis. Results: A total of 8964 patients with stage I NSCLC treated with lobectomy were compared with 286 patients who received SBRT. Using propensity matched pairs, lobectomy (7 LN or more) had significantly improved survival as compared with SBRT (median 74 vs 53.2 months, P < .05); however, no survival differences were observed when 0 LN were sampled (median 53.8 vs 52.3 months, P = .88). In multivariate analysis, lobectomy was associated with significantly improved survival (hazard ratio 0.726; 95% confidence interval; 0.580 to 0.910; P = .005). In addition, age, sex, high grade, and tumor size were independent predictors of survival. Conclusions: Among healthy octogenarians with clinical stage I NSCLC who are good surgical candidates, lobectomy offers better survival than SBRT. Adequate LN dissection allows true nodal staging and opportunity for adjuvant treatment when unsuspected nodal metastases are found.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine