NSCLC Patients Don’t Benefit from More Frequent Post-Op Scans

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A surgical oncologist with more than three decades of experience, Dr. Konstantino Avradopoulos serves as a staff surgeon at Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Massachusetts. Committed to ongoing professional development and continuing education, Dr. Konstantino Avradopoulos is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACOS).

According to research recently published in the Annals of Surgery, the medical journal of ACOS, increased postoperative surveillance doesn’t translate to better survival outcomes for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. With cancer survival rates as a whole improving across the board, some of the most prevalent questions have centered on how closely patients should be followed after treatment. Citing a lack of evidence on the topic, the ACOS Clinical Research Program and the Commission on Cancer conducted a large-scale study to look at cancer outcomes in relation to postoperative surveillance.

Researchers followed more than 4,000 patients at 3, 6, and 12-month intervals still living and without postoperative cancer recurrence. Of those patients, around 10 percent were diagnosed with new cancers and nearly 29 percent saw their cancer come back, figures consistent among those in both the control group who didn’t receive increased surveillance and the research group who did. The conclusion was that more frequent postoperative imaging did not translate to increased overall survival rates for patients with NSCLC. Researchers say the results weren’t unexpected, but might still be surprising to some doctors and NSCLC patients.