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Med Oncol. 2015 Apr;32(4):114. doi: 10.1007/s12032-015-0563-5. Epub 2015 Mar 15.

Comprehensive geriatric assessment and traditional Chinese medicine intervention benefit symptom control in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of Integrative Medicine and Geriatric Oncology, Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Fucheng Road No. 52, Haidian District, Beijing, 100142, China,


The aim of this study was to observe the symptom improvement and clinical benefit in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) stratified on the basis of CGA findings after treatment with a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Twenty-four elderly advanced NSCLC patients with a mean age of 73.0 ± 5.3 (65-83) years were categorized into three stratifications according to CGA results, namely function independent, mildly function impaired, and function dependent. They received standardized therapy, individualized therapy, and best supportive care, respectively. The patients receiving standardized therapy and individualized therapy were randomized into two groups, with or without traditional Chinese medicine for symptom control, while for all the patients receiving best supportive care, traditional Chinese medicine was administered. Nine non-elderly NSCLC patients (<65 years old) were enrolled as control and treated in accordance with NCCN NSCLC treatment guidelines. EORTC QLQ-C30 core scale, LC13 scale, and MDASI-TCM scale were used to assess relevant symptoms before and after treatment. After treatment for 3 weeks, it was shown by QLQ-C30+LC13 scales, for function-dependent patients, that the physical and role performances and the global health status were improved and the symptoms of fatigue and cough were alleviated; by MDASI-TCM scale, the symptoms of fatigue, cough, and expectoration were improved. In function-independent and mildly function-impaired elderly patients, there were no significant changes in functional status and symptoms. But in non-elderly patients, the physical and social performances were lowered, and the symptoms of fatigue, constipation, and poor appetite were aggravated. The elderly patients with advanced NSCLC were categorized on the basis of CGA findings, and traditional Chinese medicine may be beneficial to symptom control of function-dependent patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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