Determinants of long term survival after surgery for cancer of the lung: A population-based study

Cancer. 1999 Dec 1;86(11):2229-37.


Background: Even if some determinants of lung cancer (LC) prognosis have been established, their independent effect on long term survival remains to be seen. The objective of the current study was to identify the prognostic indicators of long term survival among LC patients treated by surgery.

Methods: All patients with LC recorded at the Geneva Cancer Registry between 1977 and 1987 were analyzed by logistic regression, considering as cases (n = 98) those patients alive 10 years after their initial diagnosis and as controls (n = 330) all other patients, excluding those who did not undergo putative curative surgery. The effect of each prognostic factor was evaluated after accounting for age and gender ("crude" effect) and also for other a priori confounding factors (adjusted effect). Additional models considered two staging variables simultaneously to identify the strongest staging determinant. Results were presented as relative risk estimates of long term (>/=10 years) survival.

Results: Age, histology, and stage of disease significantly influenced prognosis regardless of the confounding factors considered. Gender also emerged as a discriminated factor in LC outcome, with a 2.1-fold increased chance (95% confidence interval, 1.6-3.5) of long term survival for women compared with men. Method of discovery, presence of symptoms, period of diagnosis, socioeconomic status, and tumor differentiation did not appear to be associated with long term survival. Extent and size of the tumor were found to be the most reliable prognostic staging factors, whereas adenopathy had no effect after accounting for extension.

Conclusions: The current population-based study quantifies the independent effect of the factors modifying the chances of curability in patients with LC. In particular, it provides additional evidence that gender strongly influences long term survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Registries*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Analysis