If you’ve never had the chance to see Kaplan-Meier survival curves….

Check these out. They are survival curves from a successful clinical trial of treatments for metastatic squamous non–small-cell lung cancer. These beautifully-presented below graphs show both triumph and tragedy. The new therapy definitely extended survival. Yet the difference in median survival is only three months. A long way to go. And I’m so happy my friend quit smoking.

PS–RhodesKen is correct that the probability of two-year survival is notably better with the new therapy. That is very good news.

Overall survival benefit for patients treated with nivolumab vs. docetaxel
Overall survival benefit for patients treated with nivolumab vs. docetaxel

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

6 thoughts on “If you’ve never had the chance to see Kaplan-Meier survival curves….”

  1. Harold, you comment "difference in median survival is only three months."

    But I see another difference, which seems very important. The Long Term Survival Rate (a loosely chosen term by me) seems to have doubled. That's gotta be good.

  2. Yeah, that's what drew my eye. Went from maybe 15% to 30% 'cure' rate. That's big.

    And, frankly, at the rate cancer research is advancing right now, even a few months can be significant.

  3. A close relative died 2 months ago from lung cancer (don't know if it's the same type as this).

    Three months more would be a gift to patients, especially if it's a good quality of life.

    1. Yes, my wife Pat died from precisely the type of cancer mentioned, three months after her initial diagnosis.

      Three extra months would have been a gift; six extra months would have been a miracle.

  4. Year 2 to year 3 and/or 4 , you'll be gradually exposed to the knowledge and skills of physiotherapy starting with electrophysical agents, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, neurological physiotherapy, and cardiopulmonary physiotherapy. Pediatric and geriatric physical therapy will be included. You will attend lectures and practial laboratories for each of these areas. Physio Kallaroo, Physio Joondalup, Physiotherapy Joondalup, Physio Wanneroo, Physiotherapy Wanneroo

Comments are closed.