Objective: We analyzed the long-term follow-up data on cancer-related death in 5-year survivors of complete resection of their non-small cell lung cancer and examined the prognostic factors having an impact on subsequent survival. Methods: Of 848 consecutive patients with proven primary non-small cell carcinoma who underwent complete removal of the primary tumor together with hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes, 421 patients (49.6%) survived 5 years or longer after the initial surgical treatment. Of all the data analyzed, only death related to cancer was treated as death. Results: The median follow-up of 5-year survivors was 84 months from the original treatment (range, 60 to 200 months). Their overall survival rate at 10 years was 91.0%. Multivariable Cox analysis demonstrated that although advanced surgical-pathological stage (P = .0001), nodal involvement (P = .0245), male gender (P = .0313), and non-squamous type of the tumor (P = .0034) were significant, independent, unfavorable prognostic determinants in all patients, none of the variables investigated significantly influenced the long-term survival of 5-year survivors. The rate of recurrence beyond 5 years was much lower compared with that within 5 years. In contrast, the rate of occurrence of new malignancies was unchanged throughout the long-term postoperative period. Conclusions: Among 5-year survivors of complete resection of non-small cell lung cancer, neither stage, nodal status, sex, nor histologic condition further affected subsequent survival, suggesting that the 5-year interval might be sufficient to declare that a patient with lung cancer has been cured.
Okada, M., Nishio, W., Sakamoto, T., Harada, H., Uchino, K., & Tsubota, N. (2003). Long-term survival and prognostic factors of five-year survivors with complete resection of non-small cell lung carcinoma. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 126(2), 558–562. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5223(03)00360-X