Introduction: It is unclear whether a lower lobe origin is a risk factor for early recurrence of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients who underwent pulmonary resection. Methods: The risk factors for early recurrence, defined as recurrence occurring within 1 year after surgery, were analyzed in 476 patients with NSCLC who underwent pulmonary resection without wedge resection. Results: The proportion of men, Brinkman’s index, carcinoembryonic antigen levels, and the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) were significantly higher in patients with early recurrence than in those without early recurrence. Furthermore, the rates of lower lobe origin, extended resection beyond lobectomy, lymphatic invasion, vascular invasion, and advanced-stage disease were significantly higher in patients with early recurrence. Age (odds ratio [OR] = 4.46, p < 0.01), SUVmax (OR = 5.78, p = 0.02), a lower lobe origin (OR = 3.06, p = 0.01), and pathological stage (OR = 3.34, p = 0.01) were risk factors for early recurrence in multivariate analysis. Furthermore, only early recurrence (OR = 3.34, p = 0.01) was a risk factor for overall survival in multivariate analysis, and overall survival outcomes and prognoses significantly differed between patients with and without early recurrence (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Age, SUVmax, a lower lobe origin, and pathological stage are risk factors for early recurrence. These results suggest that for patients with NSCLC who underwent pulmonary resection, SUVmax and a lower lobe origin are important for deciding the indication for adjuvant chemotherapy in addition to pathological stage.

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