Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine





In the treatment of lung cancer, an accurate estimation of patient clinical outcome is essential for choosing an appropriate course of therapy. It is important to develop a prognostic stratification model which combines clinical, pathological and demographic factors for individualized clinical decision making.

Methodology/Principal Findings

A total of 234,412 patients diagnosed with adenocarcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas of the lung or bronchus between 1988 and 2006 were retrieved from the SEER database to construct a prognostic model. A model was developed by estimating a Cox proportional hazards model on 500 bootstrapped samples. Two models, one using stage alone and another comprehensive model using additional covariates, were constructed. The comprehensive model consistently outperformed the model using stage alone in prognostic stratification and on Harrell's C, Nagelkerke's R2, and Brier Scores in the whole patient population as well as in specific treatment modalities. Specifically, the comprehensive model generated different prognostic groups with distinct post-operative survival (log-rank P<0.001) within surgical stage IA and IB patients in Kaplan-Meier analyses. Two additional patient cohorts (n = 1,991) were used as an external validation, with the comprehensive model again outperforming the model using stage alone with regards to prognostic stratification and the three evaluated metrics.


These results demonstrate the feasibility of constructing a precise prognostic model combining multiple clinical, pathologic, and demographic factors. The comprehensive model significantly improves individualized prognosis upon AJCC tumor staging and is robust across a range of treatment modalities, the spectrum of patient risk, and in novel patient cohorts.

Source Citation

Putila J, Remick SC, Guo NL (2011) Combining Clinical, Pathological, and Demographic Factors Refines Prognosis of Lung Cancer: A Population-Based Study. PLoS ONE 6(2): e17493.


© 2011 Putila et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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