Background Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated a survival benefit for adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy after resection of locoregional non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The relative benefits and harms and optimal approach to treatment for NSCLC patients who have major comorbidities (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], coronary artery disease [CAD], and congestive heart failure [CHF]) are unclear, however. Methods We used a simulation model to run in-silico comparative trials of adjuvant chemotherapy versus observation in locoregional NSCLC in patients with comorbidities. The model estimated quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained by each treatment strategy stratified by age, comorbidity, and stage. The model was parameterized using outcomes and quality-of-life data from RCTs and primary analyses from large cancer databases. Results Adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with clinically significant QALY gains for all patient age/stage combinations with COPD except for patients >80 years old with Stage IB and IIA cancers. For patients with CHF and Stage IB and IIA disease, adjuvant chemotherapy was not advantageous; in contrast, it was associated with QALY gains for more advanced stages for younger patients with CHF. For stages IIB and IIIA NSCLC, most patient groups benefited from adjuvant chemotherapy. However, In general, patients with multiple comorbidities benefited less from adjuvant chemotherapy than those with single comorbidities and women with comorbidities in older age categories benefited more from adjuvant chemotherapy than their male counterparts. Conclusions Older, multimorbid patients may derive QALY gains from adjuvant chemotherapy after NSCLC surgery. These results help extend existing clinical trial data to specific unstudied, high-risk populations and may reduce the uncertainty regarding adjuvant chemotherapy use in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0263911
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11 November
StatePublished - Nov 2022


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