Research Papers:

Inhaled corticosteroids have a protective effect against lung cancer in female patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a nationwide population-based cohort study

Shih-Feng Liu, Ho-Chang Kuo, Meng-Chih Lin _, Shu-Chen Ho, Mei-Lien Tu, Yu-Mu Chen, Yung-Che Chen, Wen-Feng Fang, Chin-Chou Wang and Guan-Heng Liu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:29711-29721. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15386

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Shih-Feng Liu1,2,3, Ho-Chang Kuo2,3,4, Meng-Chih Lin1,2,3, Shu-Chen Ho4, Mei-Lien Tu2, Yu-Mu Chen1,2,3, Yung-Che Chen1,2,3, Wen-Feng Fang1,2,3, Chin-Chou Wang1,2,3, Guan-Heng Liu5

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

2Department of Respiratory Therapy, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

3Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

4Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

5Department of Senior High School, Li-Chih Valuable School, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Ho-Chang Kuo, email: [email protected]

Meng-Chih Lin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: inhaled corticosteroids, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, incidence, hazard ratio

Received: July 02, 2016     Accepted: January 31, 2017     Published: February 16, 2017


Whether the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) protects patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from lung cancer remains undetermined. In this retrospective nationwide population-based cohort study, we extracted data of 13,686 female COPD patients (ICS users, n = 1,290, ICS non-users, n = 12,396) diagnosed between 1997 and 2009 from the Taiwan’s National Health Insurance database. These patients were followed-up until 2011, and lung cancer incidence was determined. Cox regression analysis was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for lung cancer incidence. The time to lung cancer diagnosis was significantly different between ICS users and non-users (10.75 vs. 9.68 years, P < 0.001). Per 100,000 person-years, the lung cancer incidence rate was 235.92 for non-users and 158.67 for users [HR = 0.70 (95% confidence interval {CI}: 0.46–1.09)]. After adjusting for patients’ age, income, and comorbidities, a cumulative ICS dose > 39.48 mg was significantly associated with a lower risk of lung cancer [ICS users > 39.48 mg, HR = 0.45 (95% CI: 0.21–0.96)]. Age ≥ 60 years, pneumonia, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension decreased lung cancer risk, whereas pulmonary tuberculosis increased the risk. Our results suggest that ICS have a potential role in lung cancer prevention among female COPD patients.

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PII: 15386