Variation in comorbidity and clinical management in patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer in four Scottish centers

D Grose, G Devereux, L Brown, R Jones, D Sharma, C Selby, D S Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Treatment and survival rates within Scotland for patients with lung cancer seem lower than in many other European countries. No study of lung cancer has attempted to specifically investigate the association between variation in investigation, comorbidity, and treatment and outcome between different centers.

Methods: Patient demographics, World Health Organization/Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and primary treatment modality were recorded. In addition to recording the comorbidities present in each patient, the severity of each comorbidity was graded on a 4-point scale (0–3) using validated severity scales. Data were collected as the patient was investigated and entered in an anonymized format into a database designed for the study.

Results: Prospectively collected data from 882 patients diagnosed with lung cancer in four Scottish centers. A number of statistically significant differences were identified between centers. These included investigation, treatment between centers (i.e., surgical rates), age, tumor histology, smoking history, socioeconomic profile, ventilatory function, and performance status. Predictors of declining performance status included increasing severity of a number of comorbidities, age, lower socioeconomic status, and specific centers.

Conclusions: This study has identified many significant intercenter differences within Scotland. We believe this to be the first study to identify nontumor factors independent of performance status that together limit the ability to deliver radical, possibly curative, therapy to our lung cancer population. It is only by identifying such factors that we can hope to improve on the relatively poor outlook for the majority of Scottish patients with lung cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-509
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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