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Lung Cancer. 2008 Oct;62(1):126-38. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2008.02.018. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Systematic review of symptom control and quality of life in studies on chemotherapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: how CONSORTed are the data?

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Respiratory Oncology Unit (Department of Pulmonology) and Leuven Lung Cancer Group, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.



The effect of chemotherapy on survival of patients with advanced NSCLC is modest, therefore patient reported outcomes (PRO's) are of high interest in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards On Reporting Trials) is a quality checklist of 22 items for the conduct and reporting of RCTs. The aim of this report was to analyse to what extent the different RCTs with information on PRO's adhere to the CONSORT statement.


Systematic review of RCTs using PRO's either as primary or secondary endpoint. Compliance with the (revised) CONSORT statement was checked by 2 independent reviewers by making for each study the simple sum of the 22 CONSORT items, or a weighted score with a maximum rating of 31 points.


The median weighted CONSORT score of the different RCTs was 25, with a remarkable difference from 12 till 30. There was no significant change over time, nor difference between academic and commercial studies, but a significant correlation between CONSORT agreement and journal type (P<0.0001). Adherence to CONSORT was similar for studies comparing chemotherapy with best supportive care alone, comparing different first-line chemotherapies with PRO either as primary or secondary endpoint, or studies looking at second-line chemotherapy. Benefit in PRO's was reported in all of these settings.


The overall adherence of peer-reviewed RCTs to CONSORT is reasonable, with nonetheless major differences between journals, and with no clear sign of change over time. Apart from modest survival differences, benefits in PRO endpoints are present in all categories of studies we analysed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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