Induction chemoradiotherapy versus chemotherapy alone for superior sulcus lung cancer

Lary A. Robinson, Moffitt Cancer Center
Tawee Tanvetyanon, Moffitt Cancer Center
Deanna Grubbs, Moffitt Cancer Center
Scott Antonia, Moffitt Cancer Center
Ben Creelan, Moffitt Cancer Center
Jacques Fontaine, Moffitt Cancer Center
Eric Toloza, Moffitt Cancer Center
Robert Keenan, Moffitt Cancer Center
Thomas Dilling, Moffitt Cancer Center
Craig W. Stevens, Beaumont Hospital
K. Eric Sommers, BayCare Medical Group
Frank Vrionis, Boca Raton Regional Hospital


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Objectives: Although treatment of superior sulcus tumors with induction chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by surgery employed in the Intergroup INT-0160 trial is widely adopted as a standard of care, there may be significant associated morbidity and mortality. We describe our experience using standard and alternative induction regimens to assess survival rates and treatment toxicity in these patients. Materials and methods: Electronic medical records of all patients who underwent multimodality treatment including resection of lung cancer invading the superior pulmonary sulcus between 1994 and 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariable Cox Proportional Hazards model was constructed. Results: Of 102 consecutive patients, 53 (52%) underwent induction CRT, 34 (33%) underwent induction chemotherapy only (Ch) followed by adjuvant radiotherapy, and 15 (15%) underwent no induction therapy followed by adjuvant therapy. There were 2 postoperative deaths (1.9%). To date, 42 patients are alive with a median follow-up 72.5 months. Overall 5-year survival rate was 45.4%. Survival was significantly influenced by age, FEV 1 , positive resection margins, surgical complications, but not the induction regimen. CRT resulted in higher complete pathological response rate than Ch: 38% vs. 3% (p < 0.001). CRT was associated with higher post-operative re-intubation rate: 13% vs. 0% (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Our single-institutional experience indicated that while induction CRT produced greater complete pathological response than Ch, it also increased the risk of post-operative complications. With careful patient selection, induction Ch followed by adjuvant radiotherapy may provide comparable survival outcomes to induction CRT. Since induction Ch is associated with lower risk of complications, it may be a particularly desirable choice for patients with impaired performance status.