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Front Immunol


JMG, Aged, Cancer Survivors, Cause of Death, Female, Humans, Lung Neoplasms, Male, Nivolumab, Retrospective Studies

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Front Immunol. 2022;13:1012247



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INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer ranks the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. This retrospective cohort study was designed to determine time-dependent death hazards of diverse causes and conditional survival of lung cancer.

METHODS: We collected 816,436 lung cancer cases during 2000-2015 in the SEER database, after exclusion, 612,100 cases were enrolled for data analyses. Cancer-specific survival, overall survival and dynamic death hazard were assessed in this study. Additionally, based on the FDA approval time of Nivolumab in 2015, we evaluated the effect of immunotherapy on metastatic patients' survival by comparing cases in 2016-2018 (immunotherapy era, n=7135) and those in 2013-2016 (non-immunotherapy era, n=42061).

RESULTS: Of the 612,100 patients, 285,705 were women, the mean (SD) age was 68.3 (11.0) years old. 252,558 patients were characterized as lung adenocarcinoma, 133,302 cases were lung squamous cell carcinoma, and only 78,700 cases were small cell lung carcinomas. TNM stage was I in 140,518 cases, II in 38,225 cases, III in 159,095 cases, and IV in 274,262 patients. 164,394 cases underwent surgical intervention. The 5-y overall survival and cancer-specific survival were 54.2% and 73.8%, respectively. The 5-y conditional survival rate of cancer-specific survival is improved in a time-dependent pattern, while conditional overall survival tends to be steady after 5-y follow-up. Except from age, hazard disparities of other risk factors (such as stage and surgery) diminished over time according to the conditional survival curves. After 8 years since diagnosis, mortality hazard from other causes became higher than that from lung cancer. This critical time point was earlier in elder patients while was postponed in patients with advanced stages. Moreover, both cancer-specific survival and overall survival of metastatic patients in immunotherapy era were significantly better than those in non-immunotherapy era (P

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings expand on previous studies by demonstrating that non-lung-cancer related death risk becomes more and more predominant over the course of follow-up, and we establish a personalized web-based calculator to determine this critical time point for long-term survivors. We also confirmed the survival benefit of advanced lung cancer patients in immunotherapy era.


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