Introduction: Cancer and Leukemia Group B 9633 was a phase III trial that randomized patients with stage IB non-small cell lung cancer to observation or four cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel. A statistically significant effect in favor of adjuvant chemotherapy was seen for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in the subgroup of patients with tumors > or =4 cm. A laboratory companion study was conducted to see whether molecular and clinical factors could provide additional prognostic information.
Methods: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks were obtained for 250 of the 344 patients enrolled. Immunohistochemical staining for bcl-2, p53, blood group antigen A, and mucin was correlated with DFS and OS.
Results: The prevalence of the markers was bcl-2, 17%; p53, 47%; blood group antigen A, 25%; and mucin, 45%. Univariate analysis for DFS showed a statistically significant effect for the presence of mucin (p = 0.0005) and p53 (p = 0.05) and for OS showed a significant effect for mucin (p = 0.0005). In the multivariate Cox model, there was a statistically significant association between shorter DFS and presence of mucin (p = 0.002; hazard ratio [HR] 2.05) and p53 (p = 0.003; HR 1.95) and between shorter OS and presence of mucin (p = 0.004; HR 2.03) and p53 (p = 0.0005; HR 2.30). Of the clinical factors, male gender and larger tumor volume were also significant adverse prognostic factors (p 0.05).
Conclusions: A statistically significant association between shorter DFS and OS was seen for the patients with p53 protein expression, mucin expression, male gender, and larger tumors in this cohort of patients with stage IB non-small cell lung cancer treated on Cancer and Leukemia Group B 9633.