Article Abstract

Is there an optimal time to initiate adjuvant chemotherapy to predict benefit of survival in non-small cell lung cancer?

Authors: Yutao Liu, Xiaoyu Zhai, Junling Li, Zhiwen Li, Di Ma, Ziping Wang


Objective: Adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after curative resection is known to improve the survival of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, few studies have reported the correlation between the time to initiation of AC (TTAC) and survival in NSCLC patients.
Methods: The clinical data of 925 NSCLC patients who received curative resection and post-operative AC at the Cancer Hospital of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences between 2003 and 2013 were retrospectively analyzed. TTAC was measured from the date of surgery to the initiation of AC. Disease-free survival (DFS) was defined as the duration from surgery to the time of tumor recurrence or last follow-up evaluation. The optimal cut-off value of TTAC was determined by maximally selected log-rank statistics. The DFS curve was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to identify risk factors independently associated with DFS. Propensity score matching (PSM) was performed for survival analysis using the match data.
Results: The optimal discriminating cut-off value of TTAC was set at d 35 after curative resection based on which the patients were assigned into two groups: group A (≤35 d) and group B (>35 d). There was no significant difference in the DFS between the two groups (P=0.246), indicating that the TTAC is not an independent prognostic factor for DFS. A further comparison continued to show no significant difference in the DFS among 258 PSM pairs (P=0.283).
Conclusions: There was no significant correlation between the TTAC and DFS in NSCLC patients. Studies with larger samples are needed to further verify this conclusion.

Keywords: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); adjuvant chemotherapy; time to adjuvant chemotherapy (TTAC); disease-free survival