Delayed chemotherapy post-surgery can still be beneficial for lung cancer patients

Lung cancer patients can still benefit from chemotherapy that begins up to four months after cancer surgery, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.

Researchers studied 12,473 patients with stage I, II or III non-small-cell lung cancer. They identified the patients using the National Cancer Database.

The study shows that starting chemotherapy between 57 days and 127 days postoperatively resulted in similar outcomes to starting the therapy in the currently recommended six-to-nine-week range. Also, delayed chemotherapy was associated with a lower risk of death as compared to patients treated only with surgery.

"Clinicians should still consider chemotherapy in appropriately selected patients who are healthy enough to tolerate it, up to four months after [non-small-cell lung cancer] surgical resection," said Daniel J. Boffa, MD, lead author and clinical leader of the thoracic oncology program at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven (Conn.). "Further study is warranted to confirm these findings."

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