Long-term survival, prevalence, and cure of cancer: a population-based estimation for 818 902 Italian patients and 26 cancer types

L. Dal Maso, S. Guzzinati, C. Buzzoni, R. Capocaccia, D. Serraino, A. Caldarella, A. P. Dei Tos, F. Falcini, M. Autelitano, G. Masanotti, S. Ferretti, F. Tisano, U. Tirelli, E. Crocetti, R. De Angelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Persons living after a cancer diagnosis represent 4% of the whole population in high-income countries. The aim of the study was to provide estimates of indicators of long-term survival and cure for 26 cancer types, presently lacking.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data on 818 902 Italian cancer patients diagnosed at age 15-74 years in 1985-2005 were included. Proportions of patients with the same death rates of the general population (cure fractions) and those of prevalent patients who were not at risk of dying as a result of cancer (cure prevalence) were calculated, using validated mixture cure models, by cancer type, sex, and age group. We also estimated complete prevalence, conditional relative survival (CRS), time to reach 5- and 10-year CRS >95%, and proportion of patients living longer than those thresholds.

RESULTS: The cure fractions ranged from >90% for patients aged 95% were both reached in 95% after 19 and 25 years, respectively, and in 15 and 18 years for prostate cancer patients. Five-year CRS remained 25 years after cancer diagnosis in patients with liver and larynx cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and leukaemia. Overall, the cure prevalence was 67% for men and 77% for women. Therefore, 21% of male and 31% of female patients had already reached 5-year CRS >95%, whereas 18% and 25% had reached 10-year CRS >95%.

CONCLUSIONS: A quarter of Italian cancer patients can be considered cured. This observation has a high potential impact on health planning, clinical practice, and patients' perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2251-2260
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • cancer cure
  • Italy
  • prevalence
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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