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J Clin Oncol. 2001 Apr 15;19(8):2123-33.

Prospective study on quality of life before and after radical radiotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Radiotherapeutisch Instituut Limburg, Heerlen, The Netherlands. ja.langendijk@azvu.nl

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in respiratory symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving radical radiotherapy (60 Gy). Additionally, the association between the level of symptom relief and objective tumor response, as well as with radiation-induced pulmonary changes, was investigated.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

One hundred sixty-four patients were entered onto this prospective study. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ)-C30 and EORTC QLQ-LC13 were used to investigate changes in QOL: Assessments were performed before radiotherapy and 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after the completion of radiotherapy.

RESULTS:

The QoL response rates were excellent for hemoptysis (83%); good for chest pain (68%), arm/shoulder pain (63%), and appetite loss (60%); and poor for dyspnea (37%), cough (31%), and fatigue (28%). The QoL response rates for the five functioning scales of the QLQ-C30 varied from 35% for physical and role functioning to 55% for social and cognitive functioning. The response rate for global QoL was 36%. A significant association was found between tumor response and palliation of chest pain, arm/shoulder pain, and physical functioning. During radiotherapy, a significant increase for most general symptoms and a deterioration in functioning and QoL were noted.

CONCLUSION:

This study is the first to describe palliation and changes in QoL in radically irradiated patients with NSCLC. Radical radiotherapy offers palliation of respiratory symptoms and improved QoL in a substantial proportion of patients with NSCLC who have relatively good prognostic features. Although tumor reduction is associated with palliation of respiratory symptoms, it cannot serve as a surrogate for palliation.

PMID:
11304764
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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