Women with NSCLC Live Longer than Men | News | Loyola Medicine
Friday, September 28, 2018

Women with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers Live Longer than Men

Illustration of lungs

MAYWOOD, IL –  Women diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) live longer than their male counterparts, according to results of a SWOG study presented by Loyola Medicine researcher Kathy Albain, MD, at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Toronto.

Dr. Albain is the Huizenga Family Endowed Chair in Oncology Research at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Dr. Albain led the international study, S0424, for SWOG, the cancer clinical trials group that is part of the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network, the nation’s oldest and largest publicly-funded cancer research network. Dr. Albain and her SWOG team studied 981 patients newly diagnosed with stage I, II or III NSCLC. Non-small cell lung cancers account for about 80 to 85 percent of all lung cancers.

Researchers grouped patients into four groups based on sex and smoking history. Then, they analyzed data on cancer stage, patients’ tumor type and mutations, hormonal influences, treatment plans and survival rates. Patients were followed for five years, or until their deaths, in order to determine overall survival, or how long they lived after enrolling in the trial.

The study is the first prospective trial of this scope for NSCLC, designed specifically to follow survival outcomes. It represents collaboration across the clinical trials network, and included researchers from Canada and Japan.

Regardless of smoking history or any other factor, women in S0424 had significantly better overall survival (OS) rates compared to men. The analysis found that female never-smokers (FNS) and female ever-smokers (FES) had significantly better OS compared to male never-smokers (MNS) and male ever-smokers (MES). Five-year estimates reported overall survival at 73 percent for FNS, 69 percent for FES, 58 percent for MNS and 52 percent for MES. Women lived longer, even when adjustments were made for the medical care they received, their smoking history, hormonal factors, or the presence of mutations in their tumors common to NSCLC types.

“Females with NSCLC  survive better, even when we control for every factor that might influence survival in NSCLC, including tobacco and other exposures, lifestyle factors, disease stage, treatment, tumor  biology and hormonal factors,” Dr. Albain said.  “Additional study is needed to further investigate favorable female survival in this population and our large clinical trials need to be equally balanced for females.”

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.