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June 3, 1974

Comment: The End Results

JAMA. 1974;228(10):1294-1295. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230350064042

THE ultimate measure of success in managing a cancer is the end results as they are measured by survival in specific stages. It is, therefore, important for the reader of publications offering statistics to be aware of the different measures of survival.

Some guidelines for reporting cancer survival and end results have been issued by the American Joint Committee for Cancer Staging and End Results Reporting.45 The simplest approach is calculation by the direct method; the survival rate is determined at the end of a specified interval, ie, five years. Under this procedure, the five-year survival rate is calculated on the basis of patients who were exposed to the risk of dying for at least five years. Two commonly used survival rates are defined as follows: minimum survival rate, which assumes untraced patients to be dead of the cancer; and maximum survival rate, which assumes that untraced patients are