Effect of chemotherapy on quality of life in patients with non-small cell lung cancer
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This study was conducted to evaluate the extent to which quality of life (QoL) assessment has been incorporated into clinical trials of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving palliative chemotherapy.
Patients and methods
Phase III trials for patients with NSCLC treated with palliative chemotherapy were identified by a literature search of PubMed. All abstracts and relevant articles from August 1986 to October 2011 were reviewed. The primary focus was on (a) whether these articles had incorporated QoL as an endpoint, (c) what instruments were used to measure QoL and (c) impact of chemotherapy on QoL.
There were 3,780 items indexed under ‘quality of life and lung cancer’. One hundred three studies were identified which measured QoL using validated QoL instruments. Fifty-five of these trials assessed the effects of palliative chemotherapy on QoL in patients with advanced NSCLC. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life Questionnaire was the most widely used questionnaire; other commonly used measurement scales used were the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung and the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale. The majority of studies showed that chemotherapy had a positive impact on QoL and disease-specific symptoms.
It is now widely accepted that QoL should be considered as a primary endpoint of treatment in patients with advanced lung cancer both in clinical practice and clinical trials to further define meaningful response. As the traditional outcome measures of survival and tumour response are poor in this population, QoL assessment may offer a more comprehensive approach to evaluating the relative risks and benefits associated with treatments.
KeywordsPalliative chemotherapy Quality of life Non-small cell lung cancer
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare in relation to sponsorship or authorship of this research. They have control of the content of this review and the journal can review the data if requested.
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