What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States. In fact, lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers (colon, breast and pancreatic) combined.1

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 17.4 percent, compared to 64.9 percent for colon cancer, 89.4 percent for breast cancer and over 98.9 percent for prostate cancer. For patients with early stage lung cancer that is detected when the disease is still confined to the primary site, the five-year survival rate is more than 50 percent. Unfortunately, only 16 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed at this early stage and the mortality rate is still greater than 45 percent.1

Determining Lung Cancer Treatment

Currently, healthcare professionals rely on standard medical society guidelines to choose a treatment for lung cancer, including early-stage non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma. These guidelines use the cancer stage to determine treatment options. Classification of lung cancer by stage is based primarily on the size and location of the tumor and indicates how far the disease has progressed. However, the cancer stage does not reveal the aggressiveness of the tumor (its potential for growing and spreading to other parts of the body). In fact, two patients with the same lung cancer stage may have very different estimates of survival if the tumor’s aggressiveness is taken into account.2,3,4

Assessing Lung Cancer Aggressiveness

If a patient has early-stage non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma, there is a molecular prognostic test that can give the patient and healthcare professional additional information about the tumor’s aggressiveness. This allows the healthcare professional to make the most informed decision possible about each individual patient’s treatment plan.

Using Prognostic Testing to Personalize Lung Cancer Treatment

Myriad myPlan® Lung Cancer measures how quickly the cells in a tumor are dividing in order to provide an accurate assessment of the cancer’s aggressiveness.2,3,4,5 The Myriad myPlan Lung Cancer prognostic score combines molecular information with cancer stage to better predict the five-year survival rate for each patient than cancer stage alone. Understanding tumor aggressiveness will also help healthcare professionals determine whether a patient should receive surgery alone or may need more aggressive treatment.*

*Any discussion of medical management options is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation.  While genetic testing and medical society guidelines provide important and useful information, all medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each individual patient and his or her healthcare professional.

Learn more about Myriad myPlan Lung Cancer


1. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Miller D, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z,Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/, based on November 2014 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER website, April 2015

2. Wistuba II, Behrens C, Lombardi F, et al. Prognostic Marker in Early Stage Lung Adenocarcinoma. Clinical Cancer Research. November 15, 2013 19:6261-6271

3. Bueno R, et al. Validation of a molecular and pathological model for fiver-year mortality risk in patients with early stage lung adenocarcinoma. J Thorac Oncol 2015; 10:67-73.

4. Rakha E, et al. Stratification of resectable lung adenocarcinoma by molecular and pathological risk estimators. Eur J Cancer 2015; 51:1897-1903

5. Whitfield ML, et al. Identification of genes periodically expressed in the human cell cycle and their expression in tumors. Mol Biol Cell 2001;13:1977-2000.