Tumor size can predict the survival of a patient with the most common type of lung cancer, according to physician-scientists at NewYork Weill Cornell Medical Center. The study, which is the lead paper in this months Chest, emphasizes the need for further substaging in lung cancer and suggests the importance of early detection by CT scans.
The study evaluates the relationship between tumor size and five-year survival in patients with stage IA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Researchers reviewed the history of 244 patients treated at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center who underwent surgical resection for lung tumors between 1991 and 2001. Overall survival rates and survival rates specific to lung cancer were analyzed and compared to tumor size. The overall five-year survival rate for all patients was 71.1 percent, and the five-year disease-specific survival was 74.9 percent. Significantly, tumor size was an important predictor of long-term survival: disease-specific survival was 81.4 percent for patients with tumors less than or equal to 2.0 cm and only 63.4 percent for patients with tumors greater than 2.0 cm.
"These findings should encourage CT screening, which can detect tumors smaller than one centimeter," says Dr. Nasser K. Altorki, the studys principal investigator, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "The message is clear: early detection of tumors means better odds of survival."
Jonathan Weil | Cornell News
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