publication date: Feb. 7, 2020

Conversation with The Cancer Letter

NCI’s Penberthy: We may be seeing some impact of treatment in lung cancer mortality, but we need more data

Lynne Penberthy

Lynne Penberthy

Associate director,

Surveillance Research Program,

Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences,

National Cancer Institute

 

If the mortality rate for lung cancer is starting to fall of a cliff in part because of treatment effect—contributing to more than a third of the 2.2% decline in overall cancer mortality from 2016 to 2017—is that signal showing up on the radar of NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program?

“It really is a theory. Because we don’t have the data to completely support that,” said Lynne Penberthy, associate director of NCI’s Surveillance Research Program, which supports SEER. “However, that said, one of the things that we’ve looked at in the SEER data is that we see increased survival in the last few years for lung cancer. And particularly, we see slightly greater increase in survival for non-small cell lung cancer versus small cell lung cancer. 

“That is consistent with the ACS hypothesis—although, we always like to see a longer trend. You can see blips in the data sometimes. But what we are seeing is not inconsistent, however, we really need to continue monitoring the trends to be sure that these initial observations continue.

“We can’t rule it out, but I also can’t say, ‘That’s definitively what’s going on.’ I’m not sure anybody can … Continue reading NCI’s Penberthy: We may be seeing some impact of treatment in lung cancer mortality, but we need more data

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