The use of concurrent chemotherapy with high-dose radiation before surgical resection in patients presenting with apical sulcus tumors.

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PURPOSE: Patients presenting with apical sulcus tumors have historically been treated with preoperative radiotherapy followed by surgical resection. Since 1991, we have delivered an induction regimen consisting of combination chemotherapy and high-dose radiation in an attempt to improve tumor responses and increase survival for this patient population.

PATIENTS AND MATERIALS: This retrospective analysis consisted of 23 (13 men and 10 women) consecutive patients who completed trimodality therapy. The median age was 53 years. Histologies included adenocarcinoma (nine patients), squamous cell (five patients), large cell (three patients), and undifferentiated non-small cell lung carcinoma (six patients). Pretreatment stages were T3NO (14 patients), T3N2 (two patients), T3N3 (one patient), T4NO (five patients), and T4N2 (one patient). Preoperative therapy consisted of daily radiotherapy (median dose, 59.4 Gy) delivered at 1.8 Gy/day and concurrent combination chemotherapy consisting of either two cycles of cisplatin and etoposide or weekly carboplatin and paclitaxel. Surgical resection typically included lobectomy with chest wall resection.

RESULTS: All 23 patients were available for analysis of response and survival. The median follow-up was 53 months. The median number of days between completion of induction therapy and surgery was 56 days. Postoperative complications included prolonged atelectasis (two patients), pulmonary embolism (one patient), subarachnoid-pleural fistula (one patient), and deep vein thrombosis in the subclavian vein (one patient). The pathological complete response rate to induction therapy was 46% for the entire group. An additional 38% had evidence of tumor regression at the time of surgery. The 5-year disease-free and overall survivals were 36% and 49%, respectively. The median overall survival was 33 months. The median overall survival for those who achieved a pathological complete response has not been reached. Analysis of factors including age, sex, histology, differentiation, stage of disease, and radiation dose failed to identify any predictors of response or survival. CONCLUSION Concurrent chemotherapy and high-dose radiation can be safely delivered before surgery in patients presentingwith apical sulcus tumors. Our results compare favorably to other institutional series and support the further investigation of this approach in prospective trials.

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Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.)





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