Does intensive follow-up alter outcome in patients with advanced lung cancer?

Journal of Thoracic Oncology : Official Publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Rachel BenamoreStephen Herman


Despite aggressive multimodality treatment, 5-year survival of stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains <30%. To detect relapse, progression, or development of a second primary cancer early, many clinicians perform follow-up scans. To assess the impact of routine scanning, we compared clinical trial patients who had study-mandated scans with those treated off-study who had less intensive radiologic follow-up. The hospital cancer registry and trials databases were searched for patients with locally advanced NSCLC who had undergone multimodality treatment with curative intent. Baseline demographics were collected as well as frequency and results of clinical and radiologic follow-up. Forty trial patients and 35 nontrial control patients were identified. Trial patients underwent significantly more imaging, particularly in the first 2 years (2.9 versus 2.0 body scans per year, p = 0.0016; 1.1 versus 0.4 brain scans per year, p < 0.001) but did not have more frequent follow-up visits. Forty-five cancers were detected (41 relapses, four metachronous primary tumors) in 44 (59%) patients. Of these, 28 (64%) sought medical attention that led to detection before a scheduled appointment or procedure. There was no significant di...Continue Reading


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Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma
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