Background: Patients successfully treated for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain at risk for developing second primary cancer (SPC). The purpose of the current study is to assess the incidence of SPC and the impact of smoking status on the SPC in long-term survivors with stage III NSCLC after chemo-radiotherapy.
Methods: Using the database from the Japan National Hospital Lung Cancer Study Group between 1985 and 1995, information was obtained on 62 patients who were more than 3 years disease-free survivors. Details of clinical information and most smoking history were available from the questionnaire.
Results: Nine of the 62 patients developed SPC 3.9-12.2 years (median, 6.2 years) after the initiation of the treatment. The site of SPC was 2 lung, 1 esophagus, 2 stomach, 1 colon, 1 breast, 1 skin and 1 leukemia. Among these nine, three cancers occurred inside the radiation field. The relative risk of any SPC was 2.8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-5.3]. The risk changed with the passage of time and it increased significantly (5.2 times at or beyond 7 years) after the treatment. In univariate analysis, the patients who were male, had more cumulative smoking and continued smoking, had an increased risk of SPC [relative risk (RR) 2.7, CI 1.1-5.3; RR 3.0, CI 1.2-6.2; RR 5.2, CI 1.6-11.7, respectively]. In multivariate analysis, factors including smoking status and histological type had no effect on the development of a SPC.
Conclusion: The patients with stage III NSCLC successfully treated with chemo-radiotherapy were at risk for developing SPC and this risk increased with time.