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Influence of Delays in Diagnosis and Treatment on Survival in Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

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Neurobiology of Respiration

Part of the book series: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology ((AEMB,volume 788))

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence on survival of delays in the diagnosis and treatment in an unselected population of small cell lung (SCLC) patients. Demographic and disease data of 3,479 SCLC patients were registered in the National Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Research Institute in Warsaw, Poland during 1995–1998. In 50 % of patients, treatment started within 78 days from the appearance of first symptom(s). The median delay was 30 days (mean 47 days) and the median referral delay to a specialist was 19 days (mean 36 days). Half of SCLC patients were diagnosed during 34 days (mean 55 days). The mean time elapse from the diagnosis to the onset of therapy was 30 days (median 6 days). The multivariate analysis revealed that male gender-HR (hazard ratio = 1.2), ECOG Performance Status of 2 (HR = 1.5) and 3 + 4 (HR = 2.4), and clinical stage III (HR = 1.3) and IV (HR = 1.9) of the disease were independent negative predictors of survival. The patients treated with surgery and combined modality treatment had a better prognosis than those treated with chemoradiotherapy (HR = 1.6), chemotherapy (HR = 2.5), symptomatically (HR = 4.0), or those who refused therapy (HR = 3.9). The delay in the diagnosis and treatment had no effect on survival. Interestingly, patients who were diagnosed faster (below 42 days) actually had a worse prognosis than those diagnosed later. We conclude that a prolonged workup of SCLC patients and an extended time for treatment onset have a positive influence on survival, which may likely have to do with the determination of disease stage and more targeted treatment.

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Acknowledgments

The study was supported by Grant 3.6 of the National Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases in Warsaw, Poland.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.

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Correspondence to E. Radzikowska .

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Radzikowska, E., Roszkowski-Sliz, K., Chabowski, M., Glaz, P. (2013). Influence of Delays in Diagnosis and Treatment on Survival in Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients. In: Pokorski, M. (eds) Neurobiology of Respiration. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 788. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6627-3_48

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