Patterns of care and survival in non small cell lung cancer: 15 years' experience in a general hospital

M. Clerici, D. Panvini, V. Torri, F. Colombo, G. Luporini, A. Tinazzi, A. Nicolucci, S. Marsoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Transferring results derived from clinical research into practice is particularly difficult in lung cancer where clear indications for treatment are defined only for selected subgroups of patients. Studies on hospital-based lung cancer population could provide data for quantifying this tissue. Patients and methods: This was a follow-up study of consecutive, first-diagnosis cases referred to the in- and outpatient cancer clinics of a large Italian general hospital between January 1975 and December 1990. Data were collected from medical records and recorded on ad hoc standardized forms. Analysis focused on changes in distribution over time of patient-related characteristics, prevalence of specific treatment strategies and survival of the study population. Results: 1345 primary non small cell lung cancer cases were reviewed and 1125 were fully evaluable. In early stages (510/1125, 45%) only 237 patients actually underwent surgery. In this group surgery increased from 36 to 69% whereas chemotherapy decreased from 58 to 15%. In the advanced group (615/1125, 55%) chemotherapy was the preferred treatment but combined modalities tripled over time (from 4 to 12%). No significant changes in survival were observed within each group over time. Conclusion: Despite changes in the therapeutic approaches, mortality from lung cancer does not seem reduced over time. Since the proportion of cases that could potentially benefit from 'active' treatments is small, for the large majority of patients a switch in clinical research from a cure to a careoriented strategy should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • hospital-based population
  • lung neoplasm
  • pattern of care
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of care and survival in non small cell lung cancer: 15 years' experience in a general hospital'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this