Background: Outcomes for locally advanced NSCLC with pathological complete response (pCR), i.e., pT0N0 after induction chemoradiotherapy (IT), have been seldom investigated. Herein, long-term results, in this highly selected group of patients, have been evaluated with the aim to identify prognostic predictive factors. Methods: Patients affected by locally advanced NSCLC (cT1-T4/N0-2/M0) who underwent IT, possibly following surgery, from January 1992 to December 2019, were considered for this retrospective analysis. Survival rates and prognostic factors have been studied with Kaplan-Meier analysis, log-rank and Cox regression analysis. Results: Three-hundred and forty-three consecutive patients underwent IT in the considered period. Out of them, 279 were addressed to surgery; among them, pCR has been observed in 62 patients (18% of the total and 22% of the operated patients). In the pCR-group, clinical staging was IIb in 3 (5%) patients, IIIa in 28 (45%) patients and IIIb in 31 (50%). Surgery consisted of (bi)lobectomy in the majority of cases (80.7%), followed by pneumonectomy (19.3%). Adjuvant therapy was administered in 33 (53.2%) patients. Five-year overall survival and disease-free survival have been respectively 56.18% and 48.84%. The relative risk of death, observed with the Cox regression analysis, was 4.4 times higher (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.632–11.695, p = 0.03) for patients with N2 multi-station disease, 2.6 times higher (95% CI: 1.066–6.407, p = 0.036) for patients treated with pneumonectomy and 3 times higher (95% CI: 1.302–6.809, p = 0.01) for patients who did not receive adjuvant therapy. Conclusions: Rewarding long-term results could be expected in locally advanced NSCLC patients with pCR after IT followed by surgery. Baseline N2 single-station disease and adjuvant therapy after surgery seem to be associated with better prognosis, while pneumonectomy is associated with poorer outcomes.
- Induction therapy
- Pathological complete response