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Ann Oncol. 1998 May;9(5):543-7.

Improvement and plateau in survival of small-cell lung cancer since 1975: a population-based study.

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  • 1Eindhoven Cancer Registry, Comprehensive Cancer Centre South, The Netherlands. apolone@irfmn.mnegri.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cytotoxic therapy appears to have improved short-term survival for patients with small-cell lung cancer, but little is known about the results for unselected patients and trends in long-term survival.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

One thousand seven hundred ninety-six patients with small-cell lung cancer diagnosed between 1975 and 1994 in southeastern Netherlands. We studied treatment policy for and survival of unselected patients since 1975, when cytotoxic therapy emerged.

RESULTS:

The proportion patients receiving chemotherapy, with or without irradiation, almost tripled from 30% to 82% for patients younger than 70 years of age and from 15% to 56% for those over 70, whereas the proportion receiving only radiotherapy decreased from 36% to 5% in both age groups. The short-term (< 2 year) survival rate improved markedly between 1975 and 1989, especially for patients younger than 70 (median survival increased from five to 10 months). Two-year survival remained poor (8%). Two percent of all patients younger than 70 years at diagnosis survived for at least eight years, but these patients still represent an excess five-year mortality of 39%.

CONCLUSIONS:

In southeastern Netherlands short-term survival of patients with small-cell lung cancer improved markedly up to the end of the 1980s, but a major impact on cure rates has not been achieved.

PMID:
9653496
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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