Pathological response to preoperative chemoradiation worsens with anemia in non-small cell lung cancer patients

Theodore J. Robnett, Mitchell Machtay, Stephen M. Hahn, Joseph B. Shrager, Joseph S. Friedberg, Larry R. Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Positive links between hemoglobin level and therapeutic tumor response are well documented in carcinoma of the cervix and the head and neck, but little evidence of such a link exists for lung cancer. We analyzed our series of patients treated with preoperative chemoradiation for stage IIIA non-small cell lung carcinoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between June 1992 and February 2000, 41 consecutive patients with clinical stage IIIA (N2, documented by mediastinoscopy or another invasive procedure) non-small cell lung carcinoma received preoperative-intent chemoradiation. The median preoperative radiation dose was 48.6 Gy, and all patients received cisplatin- or paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. Response was graded on a four point scale: (1) progressive disease before surgery and/or technically inoperable; (2) stable disease with resection per formed, but specimen containing > 50% viable tumor; (3) par tial response with specimen containing < 50% tumor; and (4) complete response or near-complete response: R0 resection with no residual carcinoma or pT1N0 with only microscopic residual foci. Pretreatment hemoglobin values were correlated with pathological outcome using ANOVA and the non-parametric test for trend across ordered groups. RESULTS: The mean hemoglobin level for groups 1 through 4 was 11.8, 12.1, 12.5, and 13.2 respectively, and the association was statistically significant. If the analysis was limited to patients actually undergoing surgery (eliminating group 1), the association remained significant. The nonparametric test for trend across ordered groups was also significant with and without group 1. DISCUSSION: Our analysis supports the hypothesis that response to chemoradiation of non-small cell lung carcinoma improves with increasing hemoglobin levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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