Section of Interventional Pulmonology

Outcomes of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and airway obstruction treated with photodynamic therapy and non-photodynamic therapy ablation modalities

Ravishankar Jayadevappa, Sumedha Chhatre, Harmik J. Soukiasian, Septimiu Murgu


Background: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with central airway obstruction (CAO) may have better survival on systemic therapy if the airway patency is successfully restored by bronchoscopic interventions. It remains unclear which therapeutic bronchoscopic modality [laser, stenting, external beam radiation, brachytherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT)] used for restoring airway patency positively affects outcomes in these patients. We analyzed the effectiveness of PDT in terms of mortality, and time to subsequent treatments in patients with stage III and IV NSCLC.
Methods: Study used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Medicare linked data. We categorized NSCLC patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2011 and with stage III and IV, into three treatment groups: PDT + radiation ± chemotherapy, non-PDT ablation therapy + radiation ± chemotherapy, and radiation + chemotherapy. We analyzed all-cause and cause-specific mortality using Cox proportional hazard models with an inverse probability weighted propensity score adjustment. Time to subsequent treatment was analyzed using GLM model.
Results: For the PDT group, hazard for all-cause and cause-specific mortality was comparable to the radiation + chemotherapy group (HR =1.03, 95% CI: 0.73–1.45; and HR =1.04, 95% CI: 0.71–1.51, respectively). The non-PDT ablation group had higher hazard for all-cause (HR =1.22, 95% CI: 1.13–1.33) and cause-specific mortality (HR =1.10, 95% CI: 1.01–1.20), compared to the radiation + chemotherapy group. The PDT group had longer time to follow-up treatment, compared to non-PDT ablation group.
Conclusions: In our exploratory study of stage III and IV NSCLC patients with CAO, addition of PDT demonstrated hazard of mortality comparable to radiation + chemotherapy group. However, addition of non-PDT ablation showed higher mortality compared to the radiation + chemotherapy group. Future studies should investigate the efficacy and effectiveness of multimodal therapy including radiation, chemo, immunotherapy and bronchoscopic interventions.

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