Time to Treatment in Patients With Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Li Wang, Candace R. Correa, James A. Hayman, Lujun Zhao, Kemp Cease, Dean Brenner, Doug Arenberg, Jeffery Curtis, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Feng Ming Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether time to treatment (TTT) has an effect on overall survival (OS) in patients with unresectable or medically inoperable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and whether patient or treatment factors are associated with TTT. Methods and Materials: Included in the study were 237 consecutive patients with Stage III NSCLC treated at University of Michigan Hospital (UM) or the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VA). Patients were treated with either palliative or definitive radiotherapy and radiotherapy alone (n = 106) or either sequential (n = 69) or concurrent chemoradiation (n = 62). The primary endpoint was OS. Results: Median follow-up was 69 months, and median TTT was 57 days. On univariate analysis, the risk of death did not increase significantly with longer TTT (p = 0.093). However, subset analysis showed that there was a higher risk of death with longer TTT in patients who survived ≥ 5 years (p = 0.029). Younger age (p = 0.027), male sex (p = 0.013), lower Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS) (p = 0.002), and treatment at the VA (p = 0.001) were significantly associated with longer TTT. However, on multivariate analysis, only lower KPS remained significantly associated with longer TTT (p = 0.003). Conclusion: Time to treatment is significantly associated with OS in patients with Stage III NSCLC who lived longer than 5 years, although it is not a significant factor in Stage III patients as a whole. Lower KPS is associated with longer TTT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-795
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Stage III
  • overall survival
  • time to treatment
  • treatment delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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