Wisnivesky et al crunched through the SEER data on 3,399 people who underwent resection for N1 non-small cell lung cancer. They found that the number of cancerous lymph nodes predicted survival:
- 1 positive N1 lymph node: 8.8 years mean lung cancer-specific survival
- 2-3 positive N1 lymph nodes: 8.2 years
- 4-8 positive N1 lymph nodes: 6.0 years
- 9+ positive N1 lymph nodes: 3.9 years
These same folks recently published in Thorax that the percent positive nodes (of the total number dissected) was predictive of lung cancer recurrence.
The information could help people with cancer and their doctors better individualize conversations about prognosis and treatment planning. CHEST 2011;140:433:440.