In Treatment

Study looks at number of lung-cancer patients receiving chemotherapy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A new study has discovered that the number of patients with advanced lung cancer who receive chemotherapy in contemporary, diverse non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is twice the number than previously thought.

The new number is twice as large because previous studies looked at only the Medicare-linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) for their numbers, which wrongly left out all the lung cancer patients under 65.

For this new study, however researchers did a meta-analysis of prior studies of patients diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from 2000 to 2007 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health and Hospital System. 

Chemotherapy was administered for about half the patients with advanced NSCLC, which is more than twice the rate found in previous studies. Young patients and those with health insurance were most likely to receive chemotherapy. Median survival length for the treated group was 9.2 months compared to 2.3 months for those not treated with chemotherapy.

Senior researcher David E. Gerber, MD, of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said advances in diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care over the past 10 years might explain the expansion of patients considered for cancer therapy.

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Review Date: 
December 28, 2010
Last Updated:
January 11, 2011