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Surgery Alone May Thwart Stage 1 Lung Cancer

Chemo, radiation may not be necessary for early malignancy, study finds

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery alone offers a reasonable overall level of survival for patients with stage 1 small cell lung cancer, a new study suggests.

Traditional treatment regimens for limited stage SCLS include chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In this study, researchers analyzed U.S. National Cancer Institute data on the outcomes of 247 patients with stage 1 SCLC who had surgery to remove a lung (lobectomy).

The three- and five-year survival rates for patients who had surgery alone were 58.1 percent and 50.3 percent, respectively. The three- and five-year survival rates for patients who had surgery followed by radiotherapy (RT) were 64.9 percent and 57.1 percent, respectively.

"Based on our analysis, surgery without RT may offer a reasonable survival in a selected cohort of patients who undergo lobectomy, but this needs to be validated in a prospective settings," lead investigator Dr. James B. Yu, of Yale University, said in a news release.

"We cannot say conclusively whether patients who endure invasive surgeries can go without additional adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy, but looking forward, the study findings create a platform for advancing the understanding of the role of surgery in therapy."

The study results were published in the February issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about small cell lung cancer.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, news release, Feb. 16, 2010

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