Lung cancer: 5-year survival rises over 4 decades, remains low

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Takeaway

  • Between 1973 and 2015, the incidence of lung cancer in the United States decreased in men but increased in women, use of chemotherapy more than doubled, and 5-year OS nearly doubled but remained low.

Why this matters

  • The study offers an overview of lung cancer in the United States during a 43-year period.

Study design

  • 1,148,341 patients diagnosed with lung cancer from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database.
  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China; others.

Key results

  • Incidence/100,000 person-years decreased in men but increased in women:
    • 1973: 83.5 in men vs 20.2 in women.
    • 2015: 55.3 in men vs 44.2 in women.
  • Overall incidence/100,000 person-years was highest in blacks (61.94 in whites vs 78.99 in blacks vs 42.39 in others, on average).
  • Adenocarcinoma was the most common type, followed by small cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and SCLC (average incidence rates/100,000 person-years were 17.9, 13.3, 3.1, and 6.0, respectively).
  • Surgery rates remained stable at about 25%; radiotherapy rates decreased overall but increased slightly from 2007 to 2015 (going from 35.3% to 38.8%), and chemotherapy rates increased from 14.9% in 1973 to 39.2% in 2015.
  • Average 5-year OS increased from 10.7% in 1973 to

Limitations

  • All-US data.