Differences between squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the lung: Are adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma prognostically equal?

Akikazu Kawase, Junji Yoshida, Genichiro Ishii, Masayuki Nakao, Keiju Aokage, Tomoyuki Hishida, Mitsuyo Nishimura, Kanji Nagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We analyzed pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma patient survival in our single institution database, to evaluate the relationship of histologic analysis to survival and tumor aggressiveness. Methods: We reviewed 1856 consecutive patients with surgically resected pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma regarding their clinicopathologic characteristics, overall survival and recurrence-free proportion. Results: In squamous cell carcinoma patients, there were more elderly male smokers and more patients with T2-4 tumors, moderately/poorly differentiated tumors, lymph node metastasis or vascular invasion than in adenocarcinoma patients. In all patients and in pN0 patients, patients with squamous cell carcinoma showed significantly poorer overall survival than those with adenocarcinoma, but there were no statistically significant differences in the recurrence-free proportion between the two histologic types. There were statistically significantly more lung cancer-specific deaths in patients with adenocarcinoma than in patients with squamous cell carcinoma (P= 0.001). Conclusions: There were no differences in the development of recurrence between squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the lung, but considerable differences in overall survival were observed between the two histologic types. According to the stage grouping strategy of the TNM Classification for Lung and Pleural Tumours, these two histologic types need to be staged differently. This survival difference, however, may reflect the difference in patient background rather than in biologic aggressiveness between the two histologic types.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhyr188
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1



  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Histologic type
  • Prognosis
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • TNM classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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