The role of race and economic characteristics in the presentation and survival of patients with surgically resected non-small cell lung cancer

John M. Varlotto*, Kerri McKie, Rickie P. Voland, John C. Flickinger, Malcolm M. DeCamp, Debra Maddox, Paul Stephen Rava, Thomas J. Fitzgerald, William Walsh, Paulo Oliveira, Negar Rassaei, Jennifer Baima, Karl Uy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Little is understood regarding the inter-relation between economic, marital, and racial/ethnic differences in presentation and survival of surgically resected lung cancer patients. Our investigation will assess these differences in addition to known therapeutic, patient, and histopathologic factors. Methods: A retrospective review of the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Reporting database was conducted through the years 2007-2012. The population was split into nine different ethnic groups. Population differences were assessed via chi-square testing. Multivariable analysis (MVA) were used to detect overall survival (OS) differences in the total surgical population (TS, N = 35,689) in an ear (T1-T2 < 4 cm N0) surgical population [early-stage resectable (ESR), N = 17,931]. Lung cancer-specific survival (LCSS) was assessed in the ESR. Results: In the TS population, as compared to Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics presented with younger age, more adenocarcinomas, lower rates of marriage, lower rates of insurance, less stage I tumors, and had less nodes examined, but their type of surgical procedures and OS/LCSS were the same. MVA demonstrated that lower OS and LCSS were associated with males, single/divorced/widowed partnership, lower income (TS only), and Medicaid insurance. MVA also found that Blacks and Hispanics had a similar OS/LCSS to Whites and that all ethnic groups were associated with a similar or better outcomes. The 90-day mortality and positive nodes were correlated with not having insurance and not being married, but they were not associated with ethnicity. Conclusion: In TS and ESR groups, OS was not different in the two largest ethnic groups (Black and Hispanic) as compared to Whites, but was related to single/widowed/divorced status, Medicaid insurance, and income (TS group only). Nodal positivity was associated with patients who did not have a married partner or insurance suggesting that these factors may impact disease biology. Economic and psychosocial variables may play a role in survival of ear lung cancer in addition to standard histopathologic and treatment variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number146
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - May 14 2018


  • Lung cancer
  • Marital status
  • Racial differences
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Surgical resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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