Non-small cell lung cancer in surgically treated women


Aim and background. To determine whether female patients operated on for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have a survival advantage compared to male patients.
Methods and study design. We analyzed data from 1,426 prospectively collected patients submitted to lung resection for NSCLC between 1999 and 2008.
Results. Two groups, including 1,014 male and 412 female patients, were compared. Female patients were significantly younger, were more frequently asymptomatic, were less likely to be smokers, had better preoperative respiratory function, had a lower frequency of COPD, and were less commonly affected by cardiovascular comorbidity than men. Adenocarcinoma was more frequently present and early pathological stage (stage IA) more frequently detected in women at diagnosis. The operative mortality was significantly lower among women (1.6% vs 4.6%) (P = 0.012), and women underwent significantly more segmentectomies and fewer pneumonectomies (P = 0.001). The disease-related 5-year survival rate was significantly higher in women (66% vs 51%) (P = 0.0008). At univariate analysis the absence of symptoms at presentation, lower pathological stage, squamous cell type, and female gender were positive factors influencing long-term survival. At multivariate analysis low pathological stage, squamous cell type and female gender were confirmed as independent positive prognostic predictors. Women had a significant survival advantage irrespective of the histological subtype at pathological stage IA, IB, IIB and IIIA disease (P >0.05).
Conclusions. Female gender was confirmed to be a particular subset amongst patients affected by NSCLC and exerted a positive effect on disease-related survival of patients submitted to surgical resection. This important effect of gender should be cautiously kept in mind in analyzing the results of current and future trials for lung cancer therapy.

Tumori 2013; 99(6): 661 - 666




Ottavio Rena, Fabio Massera, Renzo Boldorini, Esther Papalia, Davide Turello, Fabio Davoli, Guido Baietto, Alberto Roncon, Mario Robustellini, Caterina Casadio

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