Adhering to guideline concordant care improves survival among the different subtypes of T3 N2 non–small cell lung cancer

Jennifer C. Wang, Li Ding, Elizabeth A. David, Scott M. Atay, Sean C. Wightman, P. Michael McFadden, Takashi Harano, Anthony W. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: T3 disease comprises heterogeneous morphologic characteristics, a variation only further complicated when in the context of N2-confirmed involvement. This study aims to examine whether or not specific features of T3 N2 non–small cell lung cancer are associated with improved 5-year overall survival when using a multimodal therapeutic approach consistent with guideline recommendations compared with definitive surgery alone. Methods: Patients with pathologic T3 N2 non–small cell lung cancer were identified in the National Cancer Database. Therapy modality, as defined by surgery alone versus surgery with adjuvant therapy, and T3 disease descriptors were compared for differences in 5-year overall survival using Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests. Multivariable Cox regression was used to determine prognostic factors for survival. Results: A total of 1924 patients met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 80.0% (n = 1539) received adjuvant chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy following surgery and 20.0% (n = 385) underwent definitive surgery alone. Patients in the 2 cohorts differed significantly in age, race, insurance status, and Charlson-Deyo score (P <.05). The overall survival for patients who underwent surgery followed by chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy compared with those who underwent surgery alone was 31.7% and 11.1%, respectively (P <.0001). Multivariable analysis demonstrated a lower risk of death with multimodal therapeutic intervention compared with surgery alone for patients with disease marked by chest wall invasion, additional ipsilateral pulmonary nodules, tumor size, and the presence of multiple T3 features. Conclusions: The utilization of a multimodal approach to treating pathologic T3 N2 NSCLC, compared with surgery alone, is associated with superior overall survival and lower risk of death for many subtypes of T3 disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJTCVS Open
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • adjuvant therapy
  • guideline concordant therapy
  • multimodal therapy
  • non–small cell lung cancer
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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