Gender-associated differences in lung cancer: clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes in women

Semin Oncol. 2009 Dec;36(6):572-80. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2009.10.007.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In recent years the incidence of lung cancer in men has been declining, while in women it has been increasing. A number of population-based studies have demonstrated gender-based differences in clinical and pathologic factors, as well as in survival related to lung cancer. Disparities in age, smoking practices, and histological subtypes are among the differences that have been identified. Gender disparity also has been observed in outcomes, with improved survival observed for women in a number of clinical trials. This article reviews the gender-related differences in clinical and pathologic factors and outcomes of patients with lung cancer observed in population-based studies and clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Female
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Quinazolines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Gefitinib