Purpose: To examine the usefulness of trimodality therapy in patients with clinical T3 or T4 (cT3-4) locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). Methods: Between 1997 and 2009, a total of 76 LA-NSCLC patients with cT3-4 underwent surgery. Among them, 36 patients underwent induction chemoradiotherapy with docetaxel and cisplatin plus concurrent radiation followed by surgery (IC group). The other 40 patients initially underwent surgery (IS group). The outcomes of the IC and IS groups were then investigated. To minimize possible biases caused by confounding treatment indications, we performed a retrospective cohort analysis by applying a propensity score (PS). Patients were divided into three groups according to PS tertiles, and comparisons between the IC and IS groups were made by PS tertile-stratified Cox proportional hazard models. Results: For the entire cohort, which had a median follow-up duration of 48 months, the 3- and 5-year overall survival rates were 83.8 and 78.9%, respectively, in the IC group, versus 66.8 and 56.5%, respectively, in the IS group (P = 0.0092). After adjustments for potentially confounding variables, the IC group continued to have a significantly longer overall survival than the IS group (P = 0.0045). In addition, when the analysis was limited to 52 patients with cT3-4N0 or N1 disease, the IC group had a significantly longer overall survival than the IS group after adjustments for confounding variables (P = 0.019). Conclusions: Our study indicates that trimodality therapy is highly effective in patients with cT3-4 LA-NSCLC.
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