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J Oncol. 2010;2010:251208. doi: 10.1155/2010/251208. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Comorbidity-adjusted survival in early stage lung cancer patients treated with hypofractionated proton therapy.

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Department of Radiation Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.



To determine the influence of comorbidity on survival in early-stage lung cancer patients treated with proton radiotherapy, using the Charlson Comorbidity Index.


Fifty-four non-small-cell lung cancer patients, treated prospectively in a phase II clinical trial with hypofractionated proton therapy, were analyzed retrospectively to assess their burden of comorbid disease as expressed by Charlson Comorbidity Index. Using the Charlson Comorbidity Index method, a predicted survival curve based on comorbidity was formulated and compared to the observed mortality from causes other than lung cancer in the study population.


The study population had an average age score of 2.8 and an average Charlson Comorbidity Index of 4.7. Predicted survival was calculated to be 67% and 50% at 2 and 4 years, respectively. Actual comorbidity-specific survival at 2 and 4 years was 64% and 45%, respectively. The observed survival fell within the 95% confidence intervals of the predicted survival at all time points up to 5 years.


Predicted mortality from concurrent disease, based on Charlson Comorbidity Index, correlated well with observed comorbidity-specific mortality. This helps substantiate the accuracy of the data coding in cause of death and strengthens previously reported disease-specific survival rates.

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