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Impact of pre-radiation therapy quality of life in lung cancer survival: a prospective, intention-to-treat, multicenter study

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Lung cancer (LC) has a significant impact on patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We investigate the correlations between pre-radiation therapy HRQoL and survival.

Materials and methods

A prospective, intention-to-treat, multicentre study of 437 patients with LC recruited at the radiation oncology departments of three different institutions was conducted between 2012 and 2016. QoL was assessed using the EORTC-QLQ-C30 (v3.0) and EORTC-QLQ-LC13 questionnaires. Global health status (GHS), physical (PF), role functioning (RF), emotional (EF), cognitive (CF), and social functioning (SF) as well as symptoms scores were evaluated in univariate and multivariate analyses.


The cohort consisted of 376 men (86%) and 61 women, with a median age of 66 years (range 31–88). Histology was: 72% (n = 315) non-small cell lung cancer and 28% small cell lung cancer. The most common stage was III (80%) and the median follow-up for alive patients was 30 months (range 7–76). Multivariate analysis showed that RF was associated with a lower risk of mortality (HR: 0.693; p = 0.008) and recurrence (HR: 0.737; p = 0.040). Additionally, lower scores on EF and PF were associated with higher mortality (HR: 0.696; p = 0.003 and HR: 0.765; p = 0.044, respectively). Appetite loss, constipation, and dysphagia were associated with a higher risk of mortality (HR: 1.985; p < 0.001, HR: 1.373; p = 0.036, and HR: 1.659; p = 0.002, respectively), while appetite loss was the only symptom associated with a higher risk of recurrence (HR: 1.525; p = 0.014).


Pre-radiation therapy scores on RF, EF, and PF and symptoms like appetite loss, dysphagia, and constipation were associated with the risk of mortality. This information could be added to other prognostic factors to guide our treatment decisions.

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This work was supported by grants from ISCIII (Fis: PI13/01155, PI16/02104) and Consejeria de Salud of the Junta de Andalucia (PI-0096–2012).

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Correspondence to J. L. López Guerra.

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Nieto-Guerrero Gómez, J.M., Silva Vega, G.P., Cacicedo, J. et al. Impact of pre-radiation therapy quality of life in lung cancer survival: a prospective, intention-to-treat, multicenter study. Clin Transl Oncol 22, 1635–1644 (2020).

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