Original Study| Volume 24, ISSUE 1, P60-71, January 2023

Increased Utilization of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy is Associated with Decreased Disparities and Improved Survival for Early-Stage NSCLC

Published:September 23, 2022DOI:



      We sought to determine if increased use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) was associated with decreased disparities in the receipt of definitive treatment for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


      The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was utilized to determine the proportion of patients with NSCLC receiving surgery, SBRT, or no definitive treatment for clinical cT1-2aN0M0 NSCLC from 2004-2017. Univariable and multivariable logistic regressions were used. Age-adjusted mortality rates were calculated using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result (SEER) database.


      From 2004 to 2017, the proportion of early-stage NSCLC undergoing no definitive treatment declined from 22% to 10.5% (P<.001), while the proportion receiving SBRT increased from 1% (0.9%-1.3%) to 22% (21.4%-22.3%; P<.001). Among Whites, the proportion undergoing no definitive treatment decreased from 21% to 10% (P<.001), as compared to Blacks, which had a higher decrease, of 32% to 15% (P<.001). The proportion of Blacks receiving SBRT increased from 1% (0.3%-1.7%) to 22% (20.8%-23.5%) (P<.001). Between 2011 and 2017 likelihood of Blacksreceiving curative therapy increased compared to Whites [OR: 0.55 (0.48-0.64) to 0.70 (0.62-0.79; P<.001]. Furthermore, the age-adjusted mortality rate of early-stage NSCLC decreased from 4.3 (4.0-4.5) in 2004 to 0.8 (0.7-0.9) in 2017 (P<.001).


      Increased utilization of SBRT significantly increased the proportion of patients receiving curative therapy for early-stage NSCLC and was associated with an improvement in mortality.  Furthermore, the use of SBRT reduced previously seen disparities in receipt of treatment between Whites and Blacks. SBRT was also associated with decreased mortality from early-stage NSCLC.


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