Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. It is broadly divided into small cell (SCLC, approx. 15% cases) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC, approx. 85% cases). The main histological subtypes of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, with the presence of specific DNA mutations allowing further molecular stratification. If identified at an early stage, surgical resection of NSCLC offers a favourable prognosis, with published case series reporting 5-year survival rates of up to 70% for small, localized tumours (stage I). However, most patients (approx. 75%) have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis (stage III/IV) and despite significant developments in the oncological management of late stage lung cancer over recent years, survival remains poor. In 2014, the UK Office for National Statistics reported that patients diagnosed with distant metastatic disease (stage IV) had a 1-year survival rate of just 15–19% compared with 81–85% for stage I.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170070
Number of pages12
JournalOpen Biology
Issue number9
Early online date6 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Low-dose CT screening
  • Lung cancer
  • NLST trial


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