Prior cancer does not adversely affect survival in locally advanced lung cancer: A national SEER-medicare analysis

Andrew L. Laccetti, Sandi L. Pruitt, Lei Xuan, Ethan A. Halm, David E. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Introduction: Management of locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer is among the most highly contested areas in thoracic oncology. In this population, a history of prior cancer frequently results in exclusion from clinical trials and may influence therapeutic decisions. We therefore determined prevalence and prognostic impact of prior cancer among these patients. Materials and methods: We identified patients >65 years of age diagnosed 1992-2009 with locally advanced lung cancer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked dataset. We characterized prior cancer by prevalence, type, stage, and timing. We compared all-cause and lung cancer-specific survival between patients with and without prior cancer using propensity score-adjusted Cox regression. Results: 51,542 locally advanced lung cancer patients were included; 15.8% had a history of prior cancer. Prostate (25%), gastrointestinal (17%), breast (16%), and other genitourinary (15%) were the most common types of prior cancer, and 76% percent of prior cancers were localized or in situ stage. Approximately half (54%) of prior cancers were diagnosed within 5 years of the index lung cancer date. Patients with prior cancer had similar (propensity-score adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99; P = 0.005) and improved lung cancer-specific (HR 0.84; 95% CI, 0.81-0.86; P < 0.001) survival compared to patients with no prior cancer. Conclusions: For patients with locally advanced lung cancer, prior cancer does not adversely impact clinical outcomes. Patients with locally advanced lung cancer and a history of prior cancer should not be excluded from clinical trials, and should be offered aggressive, potentially curative therapies if otherwise appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
JournalLung Cancer
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Clinical trial design
  • Lung cancer
  • Prior malignancy
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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