Medical Definition of Disease-free survival

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Disease-free survival: The length of time after treatment during which no disease is found. Can be reported for an individual patient or for a study population.

"Disease-free survival predicts survival. It always has. And there is a very big decrease in cancer incidence so there will be a survival difference." (Dr. Larry Norton, in The New York Times, Oct 10, 2003)

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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