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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Jan 1;24(1):59-63. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Hormone replacement therapy is associated with decreased survival in women with lung cancer.

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  • 1Section of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-7680, USA.



Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is frequently prescribed to postmenopausal women, but there is little data on its effect on lung cancer. Hence, we conducted a retrospective study to examine the impact of HRT on the natural history of lung cancer.


We conducted a retrospective chart review of women diagnosed with lung cancer between January 1994 and December 1999. Data collected included age, stage, past history of cancer, smoking history, family history of cancer, HRT use, treatment, and overall survival. The effects of various clinical features on survival were examined using Cox proportional hazards regression models.


Four hundred ninety-eight women (median age, 67 years; range, 31 to 93 years) with lung cancer were included. A history of smoking was present in 429 women (86%), whereas 86 women (17%) had taken HRT. Women with lung cancer who received HRT were younger than women with lung cancer who never received HRT (63 v 68 years old, respectively; P < .0001). Overall survival was significantly higher in patients with no HRT compared with patients who received HRT (79 v 39 months, respectively; hazard ratio = 1.97; 95% CI, 1.14 to 3.39). This effect seemed to be more pronounced in women with a smoking history.


HRT may affect outcomes from lung cancer adversely. Further studies examining the role of HRT use on outcomes from lung cancer, especially in women with a history of smoking, are urgently needed to clarify this important problem.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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