Clinical features of 5,628 primary lung cancer patients: experience at Mayo Clinic from 1997 to 2003

Chest. 2005 Jul;128(1):452-62. doi: 10.1378/chest.128.1.452.


Study objectives: To improve the current understanding of the etiology and natural history of primary lung cancer, we need to study the dynamic changes of clinical presentation and prognosis among a large number of patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer. In this report, we present the clinical features and survival rates up to 5 years of a patient cohort.

Design: We identified 5,628 primary lung cancer patients between 1997 and 2002 and followed them through 2003 using multiple, complementary resources.

Measurements and results: Of the 5,628 patients, 58% were men with a mean age at lung cancer diagnosis of 66 years, and 42% were women with a mean age at diagnosis of 64 years. Ten percent were < 50 years, and 8% were > 80 years at diagnosis. A tobacco smoking history was present in 89% of patients, and 40% were smoking at the time of diagnosis. The estimated overall 5-year survival rates of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by disease stage was as follows: IA, 66%; IB, 53%; IIA, 42%; IIB, 36%; IIIA, 10%; IIIB, 12%; and IV, 4%. The 5-year survival rate of patients with small cell lung cancer was 22% for limited disease and 1% for extensive disease. Approximately 50% of all patients are participants in one or more research studies, and nearly 75% of these patients have donated biological specimens for research.

Conclusion: The survival rate of this cohort of lung cancer patients was slightly improved compared with earlier reports, particularly for patients with low-stage NSCLC. Our patient and biospecimen resource has enabled us to obtain timely results from clinical and translational research of lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate