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.