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.