Research Papers:

Marital status and survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: an analysis of 70006 patients in the SEER database

Ying Wu, Zisheng Ai _ and Guotong Xu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:103518-103534. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21568

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Ying Wu1, Zisheng Ai2,* and Guotong Xu3,*

1Postdoctoral Research Station of Medicine, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

2Department of Medical Statistics, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

3Tongji Eye Institute, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zisheng Ai, email: [email protected]

Guotong Xu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: non-small cell lung cancer, marital status, cancer survival, SEER

Received: May 26, 2017     Accepted: September 20, 2017     Published: October 06, 2017


Marital status has been demonstrated to be related to the survival of patients in various cancer types, but the relationship in the large population of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has rarely been studied. In this study, we retrospectively extracted 70006 eligible NSCLC patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database in the period from 2004 to 2012. Marital status was categorized as married, divorced/separated, widowed, and never married. Chi-square tests were used to investigate the association between marital status and other variables. The Kaplan-Meier test was adopted to compare survival curves of different groups. Multivariate Cox regression analyses were conducted to estimate the effect of marital status on overall survival (OS) and NSCLC cause-specific survival (CSS). We further performed subgroup analyses according to TNM stage and surgery condition. The results showed that marital status was an independent prognostic factor for OS and CSS of NSCLC patients. Subgroup analyses showed that the relationship between marital status and prognosis varies according to different conditions. Widowed patients with surgery were at greater risk of death across all stages and non-surgical unmarried patients at advanced stages suffered poorer prognosis than the married. To conclude, in the NSCLC patients, married patients had advantage over the unmarried in both OS and CSS.

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