ISLAMABAD: A new study published by researchers suggested that patients with a common form of lung cancer who need time to recover from surgery may still benefit from delayed chemotherapy.

The new study - from Yale University in New Haven, CT - concerns NSCLC, of which there are two subtypes that each arise from a different type of lung cell. However, they are usually grouped together because the approaches to their treatment and prognosis are often similar.

Patients with NSCLC who undergo surgery to remove the tumor may receive chemotherapy afterward to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

For their study, Daniel J. Boffa, associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data on patients in the National Cancer Database in order to examine the relationship between timing of chemotherapy after surgery and 5-year survival.

Results showed that 5-year survival for patients whose chemotherapy started 7-18 weeks following surgery differed little from patients whose chemotherapy started closer to the 6-9-week window that is generally followed.

The analysis also found that surgery followed by delayed chemotherapy was associated with a lower risk of death compared with surgery only.

Researchers conclude that while they did not look at the underlying causes, the results suggest that delaying chemotherapy outside the traditional postoperative window may still offer benefit to NSCLC patients.

Although the findings have yet to be confirmed with further study, Prof. Boffa notes:
"Clinicians should still consider chemotherapy in appropriately selected patients who are healthy enough to tolerate it, up to 4 months after NSCLC surgical resection."