New lung cancer research finds half of advanced lung cancer patients receive chemotherapy

Oct 01, 2010

For the first time to date, research published in the October edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO) sought to determine the use of chemotherapy in a contemporary, diverse non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) population encompassing all patient ages. Prior population-based studies have shown that only 20 to 30 percent of advanced lung cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatment. These studies have previously relied on the Medicare-linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, thus excluding the 30 to 35 percent of lung cancer patients younger than 65 years of age.

Researchers performed a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC from 2000 to 2007 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and Parkland Health and Hospital System, the safety net hospital for Dallas County. Overall, the findings indicate that for patients with advanced non-small cell (NSCLC), chemotherapy was administered to approximately half of all patients—more than twice the rate reported in some earlier studies. In all, 718 patients met criteria, of whom 353 received chemotherapy (49 percent). Age and insurance type were associated with treatment with chemotherapy; specifically, young patients and those with private health insurance were more likely to receive chemotherapy. Furthermore, median survival for the group which received chemotherapy was 9.2 months, compared with 2.3 months for untreated patients.

"Most of the SEER studies reported data from the early 1990s. Over the past 10 years, advances in diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care may have expanded the patient population considered for cancer therapy," explains senior investigator David E. Gerber, MD, of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "Furthermore, physicians may not be aware of the growing evidence in support of for advanced NSCLC. It is hoped that future developments in this field increase not only treatment efficacy but also the proportion of patients able to benefit from them."

Explore further: Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

More information: journals.lww.com/jto

Provided by International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Best care for the oldest lung cancer patients

Apr 29, 2010

Although more than two fifths of lung cancers are diagnosed in patients over 70, data from clinical trials on the safest and most effective treatments for this age group are scarce. Now Italian oncologists are conducting ...

Recommended for you

Pepper and halt: Spicy chemical may inhibit gut tumors

2 hours ago

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining ...

Expressive writing may help breast cancer survivors

3 hours ago

Writing down fears, emotions and the benefits of a cancer diagnosis may improve health outcomes for Asian-American breast cancer survivors, according to a study conducted by a researcher at the University of Houston (UH).

Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

9 hours ago

Researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have co-developed the first molecular test ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

10 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

International charge on new radiation treatment for cancer

11 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine a targeted radiation therapy for cancer that could pinpoint and blast away tumors more effectively than traditional methods, with fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.

User comments : 0