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J Thorac Oncol. 2007 Dec;2(12):1091-7.

A systematic review of quality of life associated with standard chemotherapy regimens for advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.



Systemic chemotherapy is accepted as a standard of care for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although survival outcomes are equivalent among standard chemotherapy regimens, it is unknown whether the quality of life (QOL) outcomes are also comparable. We evaluated available literatures to summarize the state of current knowledge and provide suggestions for future studies.


Using PUBMED/MEDLINE database, a systematic review of randomized controlled phase III trials of advanced NSCLC reporting QOL as one of the end points was conducted. Trials were included if standard chemotherapy regimens (as defined by The American Society of Clinical Oncology 2003 recommendations) were used in at least two arms of a trial. Two reviewers independently extracted data and evaluated the characteristics of QOL reporting, analyses, and results.


The search criteria identified 14 trials (6665 patients). Of these, 13 trials used validated QOL instruments and were included for review. The QOL reporting/analysis techniques were heterogeneous. We included nine trials, which reported the rate of completed baseline assessment and compliance survivors at analysis greater than 50%, for data synthesis. Of these, only one trial found a significant difference in QOL between the comparator arms: paclitaxel plus cisplatin was better than teniposide plus cisplatin.


Based on our review, it seems unlikely that a major difference exists in the global QOL associated with standard chemotherapy regimens for advanced NSCLC. Although QOL reporting format is largely acceptable, a lack of uniformity in analysis and a poor compliance to QOL assessment made between-trial comparisons difficult.

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