Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Original Article
Trends in Small-Cell Lung Cancer Survival in 1993–2006 Based on Population-Based Cancer Registry Data in Japan
Isao OzeHidemi ItoYoshikazu NishinoMasakazu HattoriTomio NakayamaIsao MiyashiroKeitaro MatsuoYuri Ito
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2019 Volume 29 Issue 9 Pages 347-353


Background: Lung cancers are classified into small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung cancer due to their different treatment and prognosis. Although many studies have reported the specific survival of SCLC patients treated at cancer hospitals, survival from population-based data has rarely been reported.

Methods: We analyzed survival of SCLC cases diagnosed from 1993 through 2006 from a population-based cancer registry of six prefectures. To assess trends in SCLC survival, we defined three periods that mirrored developments in SCLC treatment: period 1, 1993–1998; period 2, 1999–2001; and period 3, 2002–2006. Assessments were based on relative survival (RS), excess hazard, and conditional survival.

Results: A total of 10,911 SCLC patients were analyzed. Five-year RS among limited disease SCLC (LD-SCLC) in periods 1 to 3 was 16.8%, 21.1%, and 21.4%, respectively. Five-year RS among extensive disease SCLC (ED-SCLC) in periods 1 to 3 was 2.3%, 2.8%, and 2.7%, respectively. Improvement in 5-year RS in periods 2 and 3 compared with period 1 was significant among both LD- and ED-SCLC patients (all P < 0.001). Conditional 5-year RS of LD-SCLC increased from 21% at year 0 to 73% at year 5, while that of ED-SCLC was 3% at year 0 and 53% at year 5.

Conclusions: The prognosis of SCLC patients improved from 1999–2001 but plateaued in 2002–2006, after which no further significant improvement was seen. Continuous survey based on population-based data is helpful in monitoring the impact of developments in treatment.

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© 2018 Isao Oze et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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