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Radiother Oncol. 2005 May;75(2):141-8.

Immediate or delayed radiotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)? Data from a prospective randomised study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oncology, St. Olavs Hospital of Trondheim, Norway. stein.sundstrom@stolav.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

To compare the course of symptoms and health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) after immediate thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) between symptomatic (S) and non-symptomatic (NS) patients with advanced NSCLC.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

407 stage III/IV patients were initially treated with immediate TRT within a randomised phase III trial comparing different fractionation schedules. At inclusion, patients were prospectively stratified according to presence (S) or absence (NS) of tumour-related chest/airway symptoms to facilitate comparison between these groups. The EORTC QLQ-C30 and LC-13 were used for symptom and HRQOL assessments at baseline and at regular intervals up to 1 year (N=395).

RESULTS:

NS patients had significantly more favourable baseline characteristics when compared to S patients with a median survival of 11.8 versus 6.0 months (P<0.0001), respectively. At baseline, S patients demonstrated HRQOL scores inferior to those of NS patients (P<0.01) for most scales. Until week 14, NS patients developed more symptoms while S patients experienced symptom relief in most scales. After week 14, no significant differences could be observed between the groups.

CONCLUSION:

This study indicates that immediate TRT, given to patients with minimal/none chest symptoms, does not prevent development of disease-related symptoms and diminished HRQOL. A wait-and-see policy appears to be acceptable.

PMID:
16094739
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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