International smoking abstinence study proves the best time to quit smoking is now, improves lung cancer survival outcomes

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine researchers were part of an international study that looked into the survival rate of patients who quit smoking prior to being diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). “Association between duration of smoking abstinence before non-small-cell lung cancer diagnosis and survival: A retrospective, pooled analysis of cohort studies” was published in Lancet Public Health in September 2023. In the study, survival rates of patients who quit smoking at least one year before being diagnosed were significantly better than those who were considered current smokers (who had smoked within one year of their diagnosis).

The data used in this study was compiled from 26 studies that are part of the Clinical Outcomes Studies of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (COS-ILCCO). These studies took place at 23 hospitals around the world, with 16 of those hospitals in North America.

“The COS-ILCCO represents a large number of partners in North America, Europe, Asia and South America who have contributed data from their lung cancer studies to generate robust evaluations of predictors of survival after a lung cancer diagnosis.  We contributed data from three population-based studies of lung cancer in metro Detroit where I served as principal investigator,” explained Ann Schwartz, Ph.D., MPH, deputy center director and executive vice president for Research and Academic Affairs at Karmanos.

“The study results demonstrate that any duration of smoking cessation affects health outcomes, including survival after a lung cancer diagnosis, suggesting that smoking cessation strategies should be applied across the lifespan,” concluded Dr. Schwartz, who is also a professor and associate chair of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and a member of the Population Studies and Disparities Research Program at Karmanos.

Read the study here.