The deadly disease of lung cancer takes about 1.76 million cancer deaths worldwide. The well-known risk factors behind lung cancer include tobacco intake, cigarette smoking, environmental exposure etc. A history of autoimmune disease is another factor that has been associated with lung cancer development. According to the recent research performed at Northwestern University, patients with both lung cancer and autoimmune disease have no significant difference in survival as compared to lung cancer patients and no autoimmune conditions. This study has been published in JAMA Network Open. It aims to find out whether autoimmune disease is associated with worse prognosis for patients with lung cancer.
In this study, they included patients with lung cancer and several autoimmune diseases between 2013 and 2019. The analysis was conducted from March 2020 to July 2020. The team identified patients with both lung cancer and autoimmune diseases previously associated with lung cancer. They then included patients with biopsy-proven lung cancer, autoimmune disease diagnosed by rheumatologist and death or follow-up within two years of the study end. In both autoimmune and control groups, the commonly identified lung cancers were adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer not otherwise specified.
In the summary, the present study provides compelling evidence that the existence of autoimmune disease does not adversely affect survival in patients with lung cancer. Also, further studies are required to be conducted to evaluate whether specific immunomodulatory agents used to treat autoimmune condition and the duration of immunomodulatory therapy affect lung cancer survival rates. Future therapeutic efforts in this arena are needed to come at conclusive results.
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