One direction.

It’s one thing to see improvement in treatment outcomes in a clinical trial or in your personal practice, but it’s another to see a clear dent in mortality on a national level over a short period of time. A new SEER analysis shows that, between 2013 and 2016, mortality from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) dropped significantly in the United States. This drop unsurprisingly correlated with the roll-out of targeted therapy. The annual decrease in incidence-based mortality doubled in 2013-2016 (-6% per year) compared to the 2008-2013 period (-3% per year). Where only one-quarter of those diagnosed in 2001 were long-term survivors, that proportion was over one-third of cases diagnosed in 2014, a trend holding across race and gender. Unfortunately, while its incidence continues to fall with declining rates of smoking, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has not seen a similar improvement in mortality rates among those diagnosed over the same time period. TBL: Outcomes for NSCLC, but not SCLC, are rapidly improving. | Howlader, N Engl J Med 2020


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