Veterans with locoregional non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. However, comorbidities and other factors may impact the harms and benefits of this treatment. Here, we identified the optimal indications for adjuvant chemotherapy in Veterans with NSCLC, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), and/or coronary artery disease (CAD). We used data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and Veterans Administration (VA) databases to enhance a simulation model. Then, we conducted in-silico RCTs comparing adjuvant chemotherapy vs observation among Veterans with stage II-IIIA NSCLC. Among Veterans without COPD or CKD, adjuvant chemotherapy was the optimal strategy regardless of the presence or absence of CAD except for patients >70 years with squamous cell carcinoma. Conversely, most veterans without COPD but with CKD were optimally managed with observation. Veterans with COPD but without CKD, benefited from adjuvant chemotherapy if they were ≤70 years with stage II-IIIA adenocarcinoma or <60 years with stage II-IIIA squamous cell carcinoma. Adjuvant chemotherapy was only beneficial for Veterans with both COPD and CKD among stage II-IIIA adenocarcinoma <60 years of age. Veterans with stages II-IIIA squamous cell carcinoma, COPD, and CKD were optimally managed with observation. Many Veterans with comorbidities are optimally managed with observation post-surgical resection. However, we also identified several groups of Veterans whom the benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy outweighed the risks of early toxicity. Our findings could inform patient-provider discussions and potentially reduce physicians’ uncertainty about the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100867
JournalCurrent Problems in Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Comorbidities
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Veterans


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