Background: Increasing evidence of cure for some neoplasms has emerged in recent years. The study aimed to estimate population-based indicators of cancer cure. Methods: Information on more than half a million cancer patients aged 15-74 years collected by population-based Italian cancer registries and mixture cure models were used to estimate the life expectancy of fatal tumors (LEFT), proportions of patients with similar death rates of the general population (cure fraction), and time to reach 5-year conditional relative survival (CRS) >90% or 95% (time to cure). Results: Between 1990 and 2000, the median LEFT increased >1 year for breast (from 8.1 to 9.4 years) and prostate cancers (from 5.2 to 7.4 years). Median LEFT in 1990 was >5 years for testicular cancers (5.8) and Hodgkin lymphoma (6.3) below 45 years of age. In both sexes, it was ≤0.5 years for pancreatic cancers and NHL in 1990 and in 2000. The cure fraction showed a 10% increase between 1990 and 2000. It was 95% for thyroid cancer in women, 94% for testis, 75% for prostate, 67% for breast cancers, and <20% for liver, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Time to 5-year CRS >95% was <10 years for testis, thyroid, colon cancers, and melanoma. For breast and prostate cancers, the 5-year CRS >90% was reached in <10 years but a small excess remained for >15 years. Conclusions: The study findings confirmed that several cancer types are curable. Became aware of the possibility of cancer cure has relevant clinical and social impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4497-4507
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • cancer cure
  • Italy
  • population-based cancer registries
  • prevalence
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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