To elucidate the role of radiation therapy (RT) in the treatment of surgically resected limited-stage small cell lung carcinoma (LSCLC).
We queried the SEER database from 1998 to 2012 to identify patients who were diagnosed with LSCLC as their only primary tumor. Kaplan–Meier analysis was utilized to determine disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS), while multivariate analysis was used to compare survival in terms of patients and treatment characteristics.
Eight hundred twenty-three LSCLC patients were identified for inclusion within the study. 12-month DSS for patients who did not receive surgery or RT was 31.9% (95% CI 27.7–36.3), 93.3% (95% CI 71.6–90.5) for surgery alone, and 81.0% (95% CI 69.3–88.6) for surgery + RT. 12-month OS was 27.2% (95% CI 23.4–31.1), 74.7% (95% CI 62.6–83.4), and 78.3% (95% CI 66.4–86.4) for no surgery or RT, for surgery alone, and for surgery + RT, respectively. In terms of multivariate analysis, patients receiving surgery alone and patients receiving surgery + RT had a better DSS and OS than those who received neither treatment. However, OS (HR 1.60; 95% CI 0.93–2.75,
p = 0.09) and DSS (HR 1.34; 95% CI 0.72–2.51,
p = 0.37) were not significantly associated with patients receiving surgery alone compared to surgery + RT.
Surgery alone and surgery + RT were positively associated with DSS and OS compared to patients who did not receive surgery or RT. However, the addition of RT to surgery did not significantly predict DSS or OS compared to surgery alone.