Introduction: It has been established that combined chemoradiotherapy treatment benefits selected patients with stage III Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). However, locoregional recurrence still poses a problem. The addition of surgery as the third modality may provide a possible solution. We report our experience of using the triple-modality approach in this group of patients.Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective review of 33 patients with stage III NSCLC treated between 1997 and 2005. Patients have good performance status and no significant weight loss. There were 26 males (79 %) with median age of 63 years (range, 43 to 74) and median follow-up of 49 months. Seventy-six percent had Stage IIIA disease. Chemotherapy consisted of paclitaxel at 175 mg/m2 over 3 hours followed by carboplatin at AUC of 5 over 1 hour. Thoracic radiotherapy was given concurrently with the second and third cycles of chemotherapy. All patients received 50 Gray in 25 fractions over 5 weeks. Results: The main toxicities were grade 3/4 neutropenia (30%), grade 3 infection (15 %) and grade 3 oesophagitis (9%). Twenty-five patients (76%) underwent surgery. Of the 8 who did not undergo surgery, 1 was deemed medically unfit after induction chemoradiotherapy and 4 had progressive disease; 3 declined surgery. Nineteen patients (58 %) had lobectomy and 6 had pneumonectomy. The median overall survival was 29.9 months and 12 patients are still in remission. Conclusion: The use of the triple-modality approach is feasible, with an acceptable tolerability and resectability rate in this group of patients.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in Singapore. The age standardised incidence rate is 45 per 100,000/year.
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