Autopsy findings in small cell lung cancer

B. Jereczek, J. Jassem, H. Karnicka-Młodkowska, A. Badzio, R. Mos-Antkowiak, B. Szczepek, E. Chojak, R. Dziadziuszko, B. Lisowska, K. Malak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to assess the pattern of autopsy findings in 174 small cell lung cancer patients treated between 1971 and 1991 at seven Polish medical centres. Eighty-nine autopsied patients were previously treated with different chemotherapy regimens including 32 patients who also received chest irradiation, 74 received only supportive care and for 11 patients the data on treatment were not available. The age range at diagnosis was 28-81 years (median 57); there were 39 females (22%) and 135 males (78%). Seventy-two patients had limited disease at the time of diagnosis, 86 - extensive disease and in 16 the disease extent was not determined. The primary tumor and/or metastases in regional lymph nodes were present in 157 autopsies (90%). There was a significant difference in the rate of locoregional disease found at autopsy in patients given chemotherapy and in those who received only supportive care (85% and 100%, respectively; p = 0.01). Chest radiation therapy given in limited disease as an adjunct to chemotherapy did not decrease the rate of persistent locoregional disease (primary tumor in the chest was found in 92% of irradiated and in 96% of nonirradiated patients). Locoregional tumor deposit only was found in 28 (16%). Distant metastases were distributed in 143 patients (82%) and were found in 25 different locations, most frequently in liver (49%), suprarenal glands (25%), peripheral lymph nodes (21%), kidneys (18%), brain (17%) and pancreas (12%). In 3 patients no tumor foci were found. The number of organs involved varied between 0 and 10 (median 3). The number of involved organs was not dependent on the disease extent at the time of diagnosis and on the type of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • autopsy
  • small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Autopsy findings in small cell lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this