In an attempt of reducing selection bias and confounding, two sets of cohorts (NAT-Surgery vs. Surgery-ACT, and nCT vs. nCRT) were created using PSM methods at a ratio of 1:1. Propensity scores were estimated using a logistic regression model and including the following characters: age, gender, year of diagnosis, tumor location, grade, clinical T-stage, clinical N-stage, clinical TNM stage (AJCC, 8th edition). PSM was performed using SPSS v25 (IBM Corp., Chicago, IL, USA) with a caliper size of 0.02.

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