Early stage lung cancer detection in systemic sclerosis does not portend survival benefit: A cross sectional study

Jeremy B. Katzen, Kirtee Raparia, Rishi Agrawal, Jyoti D. Patel, Alfred Rademaker, John Varga, Jane E. Dematte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a rare connective tissue disorder associated with an increased risk of malignancy including lung cancer. Methods: A single center review of all cases of lung cancer in patients with SSc was conducted. Clinical, radiographic, and detailed pathologic data was collected. Risk factors were compared with our center's SSc Registry. Cancer characteristics were compared with the National Cancer Institute SEER Cancer Statistics (NCI SEER) data. Results: 17 cases were identified; the majority were females (82%) with the lung cancers diagnosed after the onset of SSc (88%). Tobacco use was identified in 65% of cases. Serologic testing showed 50% of cases were Scl-70 positive. Twelve cases had radiographic evidence of SSc lung involvement, however only 6 had restrictive physiology on pulmonary function testing. Thirteen cases had pulmonary nodules preceding lung cancer. Thirteen of the cancers were adenocarcinoma. Ten underwent molecular mutational profiling: 2/8 had KRAS mutation and 1/10 had EGFR mutation. More of the non-small cell lung cancers were diagnosed at localized disease (56%) than in the NCI SEER database. However, 5 years survival among the stage I cases was 25% versus an expected survival of 54%. Conclusions: The high proportion of adenocarcinomas seen in our study is different from that reported in the literature. Lung cancers were diagnosed at an early stage, likely due to our center's practice of radiographic screening for SSc associated lung involvement, however this did not confer a survival advantage. A high proportion of patients who developed lung cancer had interstitial lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0117829
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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