Patterns of care and outcomes for stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer in the TNM-7 era: Results from the Netherlands Cancer Registry

C. Dickhoff, M. Dahele, E. F. Smit, M. A. Paul, S. Senan, K. J. Hartemink, R. A. Damhuis

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Objectives There is limited data on the pattern of care for locally advanced, clinical (c) IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the TNM-7 staging era. The primary aim of this study was to investigate national patterns of care and outcomes in the Netherlands, with a secondary focus on the use of surgery. Material and methods Data from patients treated for TNM-7 cIIIB NSCLC between 2010 and 2014, was extracted from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR). Survival data was obtained from the automated Civil Registry. Results 43.762 patients with NSCLC were recorded in the NCR during this 5-year period, with cIIIB accounting for 10% (n = 4.401). Clinical N2 (37%) and N3 (63%) nodal involvement was pathologically confirmed in 50.8%. The use of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) increased with time from 9% to 29% (p < 0.001), while the rate of pathological confirmation of N2 or N3 nodes increased from 44% to 54% (p < 0.001). 48% of patients received chemoradiotherapy (CRT), 19% chemotherapy (CT), RT in 10% and surgery in 2.2%. 22% received best supportive care (BSC). The percentage of patients treated with CRT decreased from 65% for patients aged <60 years to 13% for patients aged 80 years or older. Overall survival for surgery was 28 months, followed by CRT (19mths), CT (9mths), RT (8mths) and BSC (3mths). Conclusion In the Netherlands, CRT is the most frequent treatment for cIIIB NSCLC in the TNM-7 era. The use of surgery is limited. Accurate staging requires specific attention and the scarce use of radical treatment in elderly patients merits further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalLung Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • National cancer registry
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Outcome
  • Stage IIIB
  • Treatment

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