Introduction: Patients with stage III NSCLC represent a very heterogenous group that requires different treatment strategies, especially in patients with N2 (2 nearby lymph nodes having cancer)-positive NSCLC and unresectable EGFR-mutant NSCLC. This real-world study may provide more insights into treatment decisions. Methods: The KINDLE study is a large, multinational real-world observational study that assessed different treatment strategies in patients with stage III NSCLC. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated and compared using Kaplan-Meier and log-rank testing. Patients were classified on the basis of disease stage, resectability, and treatment modalities. Results: The Taiwan subgroup enrolled 200 patients. The median PFS and OS values were similar among patients with stage IIIA and stage IIIB disease, but were significantly better in patients who were deemed as a resectable disease than in those who were deemed as an unresectable disease. In patients with N2-positive NSCLC, patients who underwent surgery had better PFS, but not OS, than patients administered with chemoradiotherapy (CRT) (PFS 13.4 vs. 7.3 mo, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.18, p < 0.001; OS 32.4 vs. 22.0 mo, HR = 0.64, p = 0.215). Among patients with unresectable EGFR-mutant NSCLC, OS was significantly poorer after upfront EGFR–tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) than after upfront CRT with sequential EGFR-TKI (27.4 vs. 49.0 mo, HR = 3.09, p = 0.03). Conclusions: Our study suggests that surgery could be added as part of therapy for patients with stage III N2-positive NSCLC. Moreover, upfront CRT with sequential EGFR-TKI seems to be appropriate for stage III unresectable EGFR-mutant NSCLC. Further randomized studies are needed to validate these results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas