Radiotherapy for Local Recurrence of Non-small-cell Lung Cancer after Lobectomy and Lymph Node Dissection-can Local Recurrence be Radically Cured by Radiation?


There is no standard therapeutic approach for local recurrence of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after complete resection. We investigated the outcomes of radiotherapy (RT) for patients with local recurrence.


We reviewed 46 patients who underwent curative-intent RT for local recurrence after lobectomy or pneumonectomy accompanied with mediastinal lymph node dissection between 2002 and 2014. We analyzed overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), local control, tumour response and the re-recurrence pattern.


Among the 46 patients, 16 received concurrent chemotherapy. The median follow-up period was 48 months. The response rate was 91%. The 5-year OS and local control rates were 47.9 and 65.3%, respectively, and the 5-year PFS rate was 22.8%. Female sex and complete response to radiation were favourable prognostic factors. Of the 33 patients with recurrence after radiation, 32 (97%) had distant metastasis.


Although RT for local recurrence has high efficacy, distant relapse after radiation remains a major issue. Therefore, combination systemic therapy for local recurrence at any site should be further investigated. Since it is difficult to achieve a radical cure for local recurrence using RT, further study, for the administration of post-operative adjuvant therapy, is recommended.