There are many people in Albuquerque who may be suffering from small cell lung cancer, which affects the lung tissue. When this cancer metastasizes, or spreads to other parts of the body, then it’s called extensive-disease small cell lung cancer. Patients with ED-SCLC may run a high risk of brain metastasis, and a study published in February 2020 identifies three risk factors that may help to predict this development.

The study involved 190 ED-SCLC patients, 27.9% of whom underwent a form of radiation therapy called prophylactic cranial irradiation. Researchers believe that the three risk factors they identified can help doctors better determine if patients should undergo PCI.

The risk factors are the presence of extrathoracic metastases, hypermetabolism of the spleen or bone marrow and a high neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. Researchers found that the patients at a high risk for brain metastases had a longer survival rate without this condition after undergoing PCI (94.7% compared to 62.1% among high-risk patients who did not undergo it). Among low-risk patients, PCI made little difference.

However, the overall survival rate was not so significant for those high-risk patients who underwent PCI. Researchers conclude that despite the limitations of their study, it is still a good practice to use PCI based on a clear stratification of patients based on their risk level.

Cancers are among the most widely misdiagnosed conditions, and the consequences of a diagnostic error can be devastating for such patients. However, it may open up the way for a medical malpractice claim. Victims may seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more, but they may want a lawyer to assist with their case. The lawyer may speak on their behalf at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.