Lobectomy is considered optimal therapy for early-stage non–small cell lung cancer, but sublobar wedge resection and stereotactic body radiation therapy are alternative treatments. This study compared outcomes between wedge resection and stereotactic body radiotherapy.Methods
Overall survival of patients with cT1N0 and tumors ≤2 cm who underwent stereotactic body radiotherapy or wedge resection in the National Cancer Data Base from 2008 to 2011 was assessed via a Kaplan-Meier and propensity score–matched analysis. A center-level sensitivity analysis that used observed/expected mortality ratios was conducted to identify an association between center use of stereotactic body radiotherapy and mortality.Results
Of the 6295 patients included, 1778 (28.2%) underwent stereotactic body radiotherapy, and 4517 (71.8%) underwent wedge resection. Stereotactic body radiotherapy was associated with significantly reduced 5-year survival compared with wedge resection in both unmatched analysis (30.9% vs 55.2%, P < .001) and after adjustment for covariates (31.0% vs 49.9%, P < .001). Stereotactic body radiotherapy also was associated with worse overall survival than wedge resection after 2 subgroup analyses of propensity-matched patients (P < .05 for both). Centers that used stereotactic body radiotherapy more often as opposed to surgery for patients with cT1N0 patients with tumors <2 cm were more likely to have an observed/expected mortality ratio > 1 for 3-year mortality (P = .034).Conclusions
In this national analysis, wedge resection was associated with better survival for stage IA non–small cell lung cancer than stereotactic body radiotherapy.