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Survival of patients with small cell lung cancer undergoing lung resection in England, 1998–2009

Lüchtenborg, Margreet; Riaz, Sharma P; Lim, Eric; Page, Richard; Baldwin, David R; Jakobsen, Erik; Vedsted, Peter; Lind, Mike; Peake, Michael D; Mellemgaard, Anders; Spicer, James; Lang-Lazdunski, Loic; Møller, Henrik


Margreet Lüchtenborg

Sharma P Riaz

Eric Lim

Richard Page

David R Baldwin

Erik Jakobsen

Peter Vedsted

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Professor Michael Lind
Foundation Professor of Oncology/ Head of the Joint Centre for Cancer Studies

Michael D Peake

Anders Mellemgaard

James Spicer

Loic Lang-Lazdunski

Henrik Møller


Introduction: Chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy is the recommended treatment for small cell lung cancer (SCLC), except in stage I disease where clinical guidelines state there may be a role for surgery based on favourable outcomes in case series. Evidence supporting adjuvant chemotherapy in resected SCLC is limited but this is widely offered. Methods: Data on 359 873 patients who were diagnosed with a first primary lung cancer in England between 1998 and 2009 were grouped according to histology (SCLC or non-SCLC (NSCLC)) and whether they underwent a surgical resection. We explored their survival using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression, adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity and socioeconomic status. Results: The survival of 465 patients with resected SCLC was lower than patients with resected NSCLC (5-year survival 31% and 45%, respectively), but much higher than patients of either group who were not resected (3%). The difference between resected SCLC and NSCLC diminished with time after surgery. Survival was superior for the subgroup of 198 'elective' SCLC cases where the diagnosis was most likely known before resection than for the subgroup of 267 'incidental' cases where the SCLC diagnosis was likely to have been made after resection. Conclusions: These data serve as a natural experiment testing the survival after surgical management of SCLC according to NSCLC principles. Patients with SCLC treated surgically for early stage disease may have survival outcomes that approach those of NSCLC, supporting the emerging clinical practice of offering surgical resection to selected patients with SCLC.


Lüchtenborg, M., Riaz, S. P., Lim, E., Page, R., Baldwin, D. R., Jakobsen, E., …Møller, H. (2014). Survival of patients with small cell lung cancer undergoing lung resection in England, 1998–2009. Thorax, 69(3), 269-273.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 8, 2013
Online Publication Date Oct 30, 2013
Publication Date 2014-03
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 19, 2018
Journal Thorax
Print ISSN 0040-6376
Electronic ISSN 1468-3296
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 3
Pages 269-273
Keywords Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
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This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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