Weight gain in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients during treatment with split-course concurrent chemoradiotherapy is associated with superior survival

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Nov 15;81(4):985-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.06.059. Epub 2010 Oct 6.


Background: Preoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is an accepted treatment for potentially resectable, locally advanced, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We reviewed a decade of single institution experience with preoperative split-course CRT followed by surgical resection to evaluate survival and identify factors that may be helpful in predicting outcome.

Methods and materials: All patients treated with preoperative split-course CRT and resection at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) between January 1999 and December 2008 were retrospectively analyzed. Endpoints included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), local-regional progression-free survival (LRPFS), and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). Patient and treatment related variables were assessed for correlation with outcomes.

Results: A total of 54 patients were analyzed, 76% Stage IIIA, 18% Stage IIIB, and 6% oligometastatic. The pathologic complete response (pCR) rate was 31.5%, and the absence of nodal metastases (pN0) was 64.8%. Median OS and 3-year actuarial survival were 44.6 months and 50%, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed initial stage (p < 0.01) and percent weight change during CRT (p < 0.01) significantly correlated with PFS/OS. On multivariate analysis initial stage (HR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.18-4.90; p = 0.02) and percent weight change (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.67-0.93; p < 0.01) maintained significance with respect to OS. There were no cases of Grade 3+ esophagitis, and there was a single case of Grade 3 febrile neutropenia.

Conclusions: The strong correlation between weight change during CRT and OS/PFS suggests that this clinical parameter may be useful as a complementary source of predictive information in addition to accepted factors such as pathological response.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Gain*