Patients with early-stage non–small-cell lung cancer treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy were retrospectively categorized as frail or nonfrail using a modified frailty index. Frailty was found to be associated with worse overall survival. Use of a pretreatment frailty index may help guide treatment decision making and patient counseling.Introduction:
Frailty of surgical patients has been associated with worse outcomes. There is limited literature discussing frailty in patients with lung cancer treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). This study assesses the relationship between frailty and overall survival (OS), tumor control, and toxicity in patients with early-stage non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with SBRT.Patients and Methods:
A retrospective review of patients with early-stage NSCLC treated with SBRT at a single institution between February 2009 and September 2014 was performed. A modified frailty index (mFI) of 8 variables was created, and patients were categorized as nonfrail (mFI ≤ 2) and frail (mFI > 2). OS, recurrence-free survival (RFS), local control (LC), regional control, and distant control (DC) were compared between frail and nonfrail patients by Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests. Univariate and multivariable analyses were conducted.Results:
One hundred forty cases of early-stage NSCLC were included, with 49 frail (35.0%) and 91 nonfrail (65.0%) subjects. OS was significantly lower in frail than nonfrail patients (P = .01) with 3-year OS of 59.3% versus 82.0%. LC and DC were significantly lower in frail than nonfrail patients (LC: P = .02, 3-year LC of 85.3% vs. 97.0%; DC: P = .03, 3-year DC of 80.6% vs. 93.4%), as was RFS (P = .01, 3-year RFS of 53.4% vs. 74.5%). Frailty remained a significant predictor for shorter OS on multivariable analysis (hazard ratio = 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–3.85; P = .04).Conclusion:
Frailty is associated with reduced OS in early-stage NSCLC patients treated with SBRT. Characterizing frailty using an mFI before treatment could help guide treatment decision making and patient counseling.