Early Mortality in Patients Undergoing Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

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Abstract

Background:

Although adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival in patients with completely resected NSCLC, it is also associated with potentially disabling or lethal adverse events. Because there is limited information on the early mortality among patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy, we used the National Cancer Database to calculate the percentage of deaths within the first 6 months of starting chemotherapy.

Methods:

The National Cancer Database was queried for patients age 18 or older in whom stage IB to IIIA NSCLC had been diagnosed between 2004 and 2012 and who had received multiagent adjuvant chemotherapy starting within 120 days from the surgical resection with negative surgical margins. Age groups were divided as follows: younger than 50, 51 to 60, 61 to 70, 71 to 80, and older than 80 years.

Results:

A total of 19,691 patients met the eligibility criteria, 19,398 of whom had a known 6-month mortality status. The median age was 65 years (range 19–89). The 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-month cumulative mortality rates from initiation of chemotherapy were 0.7%, 1.3%, 1.9%, 2.6%, 3.2%, and 4.1% respectively. The 6-month mortality rates for each age group (≤ 50 years, 51–60, 61–70, 71–80, and >80) were 2.6%, 3.1%, 4.1%, 5.3%, and 7.6%, respectively (p < 0.001). Independent factors associated with increased 6-month mortality included age 71 to 80 versus younger than 50 (OR = 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.16–2.55, p = 0.007), age older than 80 versus younger than 50 (OR = 2.43, 95% CI: 1.40–4.20, p = 0.002), male sex (OR = 1.42; 95% CI: 1.21–1.67, p < 0.001), Charlson-Deyo comorbidity score of 2 versus 0 (OR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.22–1.89, p < 0.001), pneumonectomy (OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.11–1.73, p = 0.004), length of postopertive stay longer than 6 days after surgery (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.03–1.41, p = 0.02), and readmission within 30 days from surgery (OR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.15–1.90, p = 0.02).

Conclusions:

Early mortality with the use of adjuvant chemotherapy after complete resection of NSCLC is a clinical concern. The risk is higher in patients older than 70 years, with higher comorbidity scores and a prolonged length of stay postoperatively.

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