TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Thermal ablation (TA) is a safe, effective treatment for stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study recently published in Radiology.

Johannes Uhlig, M.D., from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues used the 2004 to 2013 National Cancer Database to identify patients with stage 1 NSCLC treated with TA (1,102 patients) or stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT; 27,732 patients).

The researchers found no significant difference in overall survival between TA and SRT during a mean follow-up of 52.4 months (survival difference, P = 0.69) in a propensity score-matched cohort with balanced distribution of potential confounders. During the course of the follow-up period, all survival rates were comparable between TA and SRT (one year, P = 0.76; two years, P = 0.43; three years, P = 0.32; five years, P = 0.81). For patients who underwent TA, unplanned hospital readmission rates were higher than the readmission rates of those who underwent SRT (3.7 versus 0.2 percent; P < 0.001).

“Regarding overall survival, thermal ablation was non-inferior to stereotactic radiation therapy for primary treatment of stage 1 non-small-cell lung cancer,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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