Sites of recurrence in resected stage I non-small-cell lung cancer: a guide for future studies

J Clin Oncol. 1984 Dec;2(12):1352-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1984.2.12.1352.


The Lung Cancer Study Group recently completed a double-blind adjuvant immunotherapy study, in which 473 patients with resected stage I non-small-cell lung cancer were randomized to either intrapleural BCG or placebo. The study showed no significant difference in time to first recurrence for the two treatment arms. The present report analyzes the distribution of the anatomic site of first relapse and relates this to TN staging, histology, and other appropriate risk factors. The overall rate of recurrence is significantly higher for increasing TN status and for nonsquamous as compared to squamous-cell type. However, the distribution of site of recurrence does not, in general, change with increasing TN status or with histology. Approximately 65% to 75% of the first recurrences involve distant sites, with the brain being by far the most common, regardless of TN staging or histology. The implications of this for planning future studies is discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*