BACKGROUND - Development of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) in patients previously treated for small cell carcinoma (SCLC/NSCLC) is well described; however, little is known about clinical outcome.
METHODS - A single-institution 20-year review was performed. Patient characteristics and survival for SCLC/ NSCLC patients were compared with those for control patients matched for stage, resection, and previous malignancy.
RESULTS - One thousand four hundred four patients with small cell carcinoma were identified, and 29 underwent therapy for metachronous NSCLC: 11 of 29 patients underwent surgical resection, 10 of these 11 (90%) were stage I. Compared with surgically treated stage I NSCLC patients, SCLC/NSCLC patients were more likely to have squamous histology (70% versus 35%, p = 0.026); and subanatomic resection (90% versus 17.4%, p < 0.0005). The SCLC/NSCLC patients had significantly poorer survival when compared with stage I NSCLC patients undergoing any resection (24.53 versus 74.43 months, p = 0.003) and stage I NSCLC patients receiving wedge resection (24.53 versus 58.39 months, p = 0.006). Survival was similar to NSCLC patients with a history of previous treated extrathoracic solid malignancy.
CONCLUSIONS - Surgical resection for SCLC/NSCLC patients is feasible, but poorer prognosis is noted when compared with stage-matched control patients. Surgical candidates should be carefully chosen, and alternative local control modalities considered.