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Gender is key factor in determining overall survival of lung cancer patients

Even though some combinations of gender, race and/or marital status can factor into the overall survival of nonoperative non-small cell lung cancer patients, gender is the most significant factor impacting overall survival, according to a study presented at the 2008 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology, sponsored by ASTRO, ASCO, IASLC and the University of Chicago.

According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2008 approximately 215,020 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 161,840 people will die from the disease.

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas and Emory University in Atlanta studied 1,365 lung cancer patients who were enrolled in national cooperative group trials conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group during the 1990s to determine the impact of sociodemographic factors such as gender, race and/or marital status on overall survival.

The results of the study showed that males diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer had a 1.23 times higher mortality rate than females but that race and marital status did not significantly affect the patients' outcomes.

"Our study corroborates the fact that gender plays an important role as a prognostic factor in people diagnosed with lung cancer," Benjamin Movsas, M.D., lead author of the study and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital, said. "This underscores the importance of studying this disease entity in light of the fact that women diagnosed with lung cancer tend to have a better outcome in terms of survival."


Contact: Beth Bukata
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology

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