Treatment with curative intent of stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients of 75 years: A prospective population-based study

Rinus Wanders, Jessie Steevens, Anita Botterweck, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans, Bart Reymen, Angela van Baardwijk, Jacques Borger, Gerben Bootsma, Cordula Pitz, Ragnar Lunde, Wiel Geraedts, Philippe Lambin, Dirk De Ruysscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: There is little data on the survival of elderly patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: Patients with stage III NSCLC in the Netherlands Cancer Registry/Limburg from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2008 were included. Findings: One thousand and two patients with stage III were diagnosed, of which 237 were 75 years or older. From 228 patients, co-morbidity scores were available. Only 33/237 patients (14.5%) had no co-morbidities, 195 (85.5%) had one or more important co-morbidities, 60 (26.3%) two or more co-morbidities, 18 (7.9%) three or more co-morbidities and 2 patients (0.9%) suffered from four co-morbidities. Forty-eight percent were treated with curative intent. No significant difference in Charlson co-morbidity, age or gender was found between patients receiving curative or palliative intent treatment. Treatment with curative intent was associated with increased overall survival (OS) compared to palliative treatment: median OS 14.2 months (9.6-18.7) versus 5.2 months (4.3-6.0), 2-year OS 35.5% versus 12.1%, for curative versus palliative treatment. Findings: Patients who received only radiotherapy with curative intent had a median OS of 11.1 months (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 6.4-15.8) and a 5-year OS of 20.3%; for sequential chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the median OS was 18.0 months (95% CI 12.2-23.7), with a 5-year OS of 14.9%. Only four patients received concurrent chemo-radiation. Interpretation: In this prospective series treating elderly patients with stage III NSCLC with curative intent was associated with significant 5-year survival rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2691-2697
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Elderly
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Stage III
  • Combined modality treatment
  • Survival

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