Background: This study used a large-scale cancer database in determination of prognostic factors for the survival of lung cancer subjects in Taiwan.
Methods: Total of 24,910 subjects diagnosed with lung cancer was analysed. Survival estimates by Kaplan-Meier methods. Cox proportional-hazards model estimated the death risk (hazard ratio (HR)) for various prognostic factors.
Results: The prognostic indicators associated with a higher risk of lung cancer deaths are male gender (males versus females; HR = 1.07, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.03-1.11), males diagnosed in later periods (shown in 1991-1994 versus 1987-1990; HR = 1.13), older age at diagnosis, large cell carcinoma (LCC)/small cell carcinoma (SCC), and supportive care therapy over chemotherapy. The overall 5-year survival rate for lung cancer death was significantly poorer for males (21.3%) than females (23.6%). Subjects with squamous cell carcinoma (SQCC) and treatment by surgical resection alone had better prognosis. We find surgical resections to markedly increase 5-year survival rate from LCC, decreased risk of death from LCC, and no improved survival from SCC.
Conclusion: Gender and clinical characteristics (i.e. diagnostic period, diagnostic age, histological type and treatment modality) play important roles in determining lung cancer survival.