Flow diagram for literature searching. The diagram gives details of the four stages of the search; the Medline search, the Embase search, the search based on reviews of interest, and the search based on secondary references. The four criteria for rejecting papers during these four stages are described further in the Methods section under the headings “patients”, “not cohort”, “not lung cancer” and “reviews not of interest”. Note that one of the three papers accepted from the search based on secondary references cited a paper that was also examined but provided no lung cancer results. The four stages produced a total of 33 accepted papers (22 Medline, 5 Embase, 3 reviews of interest, 3 secondary references). Subsequently 7 of these were rejected for reasons described in the first paragraph of the Results section.
Fry et al. BMC Cancer 2012 12:498 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-498