Lung cancer is the thirdmost common cancer in theworld and has the highest cancermortality rate.Aworldwide increasing trend of lung adenocarcinoma has been noted. In addition, the identification of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and the introduction of EGFR inhibitors to successfully treat EGFR mutated non-small cell lung cancers are breakthroughs for lung cancer treatment. The current study evaluated the incidence and survival of lung cancer using data collected by the Taiwan Cancer Registry between 1996 and 2008. The results showed that the most common histologic subtype of lung cancer was adenocarcinoma, followed by squamous cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, neuroendocrine tumors, lymphoma, and sarcoma. Overall, the incidence of lung cancer in Taiwan increased significantly from 1996 to 2008. An increased incidence was observed for adenocarcinoma, particularly forwomen, with an annual percentage change of 5.9, whereas the incidence of squamous cell carcinomadecreased.Among the subtypes of lung cancer, themost rapid increase occurred in neuroendocrine tumors with an annual percentage change of 15.5. From 1996-1999 to 2005- 2008, the 1-year survival of adenocarcinoma increased by 10% for men, whereas the 1-, 3-, and 5-year survivals of adenocarcinoma for women increased by 18%, 11%, and 5%, respectively. Overall, the incidence of lung cancer has been increasing in Taiwan, although the trends were variable by subtype. The introduction of targeted therapieswas associated with a significantly improved survival for lung adenocarcinoma in Taiwan; however, more studies are needed to explain the rising incidence of lung adenocarcinoma. In addition, it is important to investigate the molecular pathogenesis of the various subtypes of lung cancer to develop novel therapeutic agents.
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