Risk of Second Lung Cancer in Patients with Previously Treated Lung Cancer: Analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Data

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The risk for development of a second primary lung cancer (SPLC) after treatment of an initial primary lung cancer (IPLC) is around 1% to 2% per patient per year. The present screening and surveillance guidelines do not adequately address this particular patient population.


We retrospectively reviewed patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database from 1992 to 2007 to assess the frequency of occurrence of SPLC with regard to multiple patient demographics and calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs).


The SIRs for SPLCs were high for both men and women at any age but highest if the IPLC occurred at a younger age. Women had the highest SIR values irrespective of age and race, with the highest SIR reported for the youngest age group (20–49 years) (SIR = 15.26, 95% confidence interval: 12.81–18.04). The rate of SPLC development was 1.10% per patient per year, with median time intervals between the IPLC and SPLC diagnoses of 59 and 62 months, respectively, for men and women. The cumulative risk for development of SPLC increased over time and did not plateau.


These findings suggest that there is a continued risk for development of SPLC. Surveillance strategies for this population must be addressed.

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