Inflammation is a cancer hallmark. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) improve overall survival (OS) in certain cancers. Real-world studies explored here if NSAIDs improve non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) OS. Analyses independently interrogated clinical databases from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC cohort, 1987 to 2015; 33,162 NSCLCs and 3,033 NSAID users) and Georgetown-MedStar health system (Georgetown cohort, 2000 to 2019; 4,497 NSCLCs and 1,993 NSAID users). Structured and unstructured clinical data were extracted from electronic health records (EHRs) using natural language processing (NLP). Associations were made between NSAID use and NSCLC prognostic features (tobacco use, gender, race, and body mass index, BMI). NSAIDs were statistically-significantly (P < 0.0001) associated with increased NSCLC survival (5-year OS 29.7% for NSAID users versus 13.1% for non-users) in the MDACC cohort. NSAID users gained 11.6 months over nonusers in 5-year restricted mean survival time. Stratified analysis by stage, histopathology and multicovariable assessment substantiated benefits. NSAID users were pooled independent of NSAID type and by NSAID type. Landmark analysis excluded immortal time bias. Survival improvements (P < 0.0001) were confirmed in the Georgetown cohort. Thus, real-world NSAID usage was independently associated with increased NSCLC survival in the MDACC and Georgetown cohorts. Findings were confirmed by landmark analyses and NSAID type. The OS benefits persisted despite tobacco use and did not depend on gender, race, or BMI (MDACC cohort, P < 0.0001). These real-world findings could guide future NSAID lung cancer randomized trials.

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