The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of extended delay to surgery for stage I NSCLC.
Summary of Background Data:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with NSCLC may experience delays in care, and some national guidelines recommend delays in surgery by >3 months for early NSCLC.
Using data from the National Lung Screening Trial, a multi-center randomized trial, and the National Cancer Data Base, a multi-institutional oncology registry, the impact of “early” versus “delayed” surgery (surgery received 0–30 vs 90–120 days after diagnosis) for stage I lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was assessed using multivariable Cox regression analysis with penalized smoothing spline functions and propensity score-matched analyses.
In Cox regression analysis of the National Lung Screening Trial (n = 452) and National Cancer Data Base (n = 80,086) cohorts, an increase in the hazard ratio was seen the longer surgery was delayed. In propensity score-matched analysis, no significant differences in survival were found between early and delayed surgery for stage IA1 adenocarcinoma and IA1-IA3 SCC (all P > 0.13). For stage IA2-IB adenocarcinoma and IB SCC, delayed surgery was associated with worse survival (all P < 0.004).
The mortality risk associated with an extended delay to surgery differs across patient subgroups, and difficult decisions to delay care during the COVID-19 pandemic should take substage and histologic subtype into consideration.