Determinants of Long Term Survival after Surgery for Cancer of the Lung

Author: Christine Bouchardy, Gerald Fioretta, Marc De Perrot, et al
Content Contributor: Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Reviewed: November 01, 2001

Reviewers: Li Liu, MD
Source: Cancer, Volume 86, No. 11 (December): 2229-2237, 1999.

Précis: Prognostic factors of lung cancer


Patient age, extent of the disease, and performance status at diagnosis are major prognostic determinants for patients with lung cancer. Other factors, such as gender, histologic subtype, and socioeconomic status have not been well established. Dr. Christine Bouchardy and her colleagues of the Geneva Cancer Registry, in Switzerland reported the independent prognostic significance of long-term survival in patients with cancer of the lung using data from a population-based cancer registry.


A total of 428 lung cancer patients who underwent curative surgery were included. Cure was defined as survival for 10 years or more after surgery.

  • 98 patients survived for 10 years and 330 did not.
  • Women were more than twice as likely as men to live at least 10 years after having surgery for lung cancer.
  • Patients younger than age 50 years are 2.5 times more likely to survive from lung cancer than those age 60 years and older.
  • Extent and size of the tumor were the most reliable prognostic staging factors.

Female gender, age younger than 50, and early stage appeared to be the most important prognostic indicators of long term survival in patients with lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer was included in this analysis, in which surgery alone is not considered as curative treatment in the majority of patients.


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