Induction Chemoradiotherapy (Carboplatin-Taxane and Concurrent 50-Gy Radiation) for Bulky cN2, N3 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007 May;133(5):1179-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2006.12.039.


Objective: To improve the prognosis of cN2, N3 non-small cell lung cancer, we performed induction chemoradiotherapy (carboplatin-taxane chemotherapy and concurrent 50-Gy radiation) followed by surgery.

Methods: Patients with pathologically proven non-small cell lung cancer with bulky cN2, N3 disease were enrolled. Forty-one patients underwent an operation after chemoradiotherapy from January 2000 to April 2006. Either carboplatin-paclitaxel (n = 19) or carboplatin-docetaxel (n = 22) chemotherapy was randomly used. Two cycles of chemotherapy were performed with concurrent radiation (50 Gy). In all cases, conventional radiological reevaluations were performed; in the latest 21 cases, reevaluations with positron-emission tomography with fludeoxyglucose F 18 were also performed.

Results: In all 41 cases, complete resections were performed, with no operative mortality. The histologically complete response rate, major response rate, and minor response rate were 17.1% (7/41), 56.1% (23/41), and 26.8% (11/41), respectively. The 5-year overall survival was 52.7%. There were no differences in survival between taxane groups. Both the complete response and the major response groups revealed a significantly better 5-year survivals than the minor response group (85.7%, P = .044, 52.4%, P = .01). Even with persistent N2 disease, the 5-year survival in the major response group (66%) was promising. With the combination of conventional computed tomography and positron-emission tomography with fludeoxyglucose F 18 for reevaluation, eligible patients could be selected for this protocol.

Conclusion: Surgery after chemoradiotherapy (carboplatin-taxane and 50-Gy radiation) for bulky cN2, N3 non-small cell lung cancer can be safely performed with promising results. Even with persistent N2 disease, the survival in the major response group was promising.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Survival Rate
  • Taxoids / administration & dosage


  • Bridged-Ring Compounds
  • Taxoids
  • taxane
  • Carboplatin