• Open Access

Prognostic factors and survival of patients with small cell lung cancer in a northeastern Chinese population


Li Cai, Fourth Department of Medical Oncology, Third Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, 150 Haping Road, Harbin 150040, China. Tel: +86 451 86298735, Fax: +86 451 86663760, Email: caiwenxin76@yahoo.com.cn


Background:  This study presents the characteristics and treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and an analysis of the factors that impact survival in northeastern Chinese populations, among both smokers and non-smokers.

Methods:  A retrospective review was performed using 485 Chinese patients diagnosed with pathologically confirmed SCLC diagnoses between January 2001 and December 2007. Data on patient characteristics, treatment patterns, and outcome information was collected systematically. Univariate analysis and the Cox multivariate regression model were used to evaluate prognostic factors.

Results:  Median survival time was 16 months in all patients, 31 months in limited stage (LS) patients, and 10 months in extensive-stage (ES) patients. Never-smoking patients (P= 0.0368) with good performance status (PS) (P= 0.0044) or with normal lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels (P < 0.0001), demonstrated superior survival rates. Multivariate analysis identified that cycles of chemotherapy, PS, LDH levels, recurrence or progression, and clinical stage were each independent prognostic factors applicable to all patients. In LS-SCLC, cycles of chemotherapy were the only prognostic indicator; however, cycles of chemotherapy, LDH levels, and recurrence or progression, were all significant factors in ES-SCLC.

Conclusion:  Cycles of chemotherapy, PS, LDH levels, recurrence or progression, and clinical stage were proved to be independent prognostic factors for SCLC with variant value based on the SCLC tumor stage.