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Lung India. 2019 Jan-Feb;36(1):32-37. doi: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_321_17.

Adverse effects observed in lung cancer patients undergoing first-line chemotherapy and effectiveness of supportive care drugs in a resource-limited setting.

Author information

1
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.

Abstract

Background:

Lung cancer (LC) chemotherapy results in several adverse events (AEs). Data regarding supportive care medications (SCMs) offered to prevent/treat AEs in resource-limited settings are lacking. A prospective observational study was carried out to find the effectiveness of SCMs in real-life setting.

Methods:

Newly diagnosed LC patients receiving first-line chemotherapy at a tertiary referral center in North India (from July 2014 to September 2015) were enrolled. Incidence, timing of onset, duration, and grades of chemotherapy-related AEs were recorded. We assessed compliance to mandatory SCMs using a structured questionnaire. Patients also recorded various symptoms, frequency of need-based SCMs, visits to local practitioners, and hospitalization (if any) during the intercycle period.

Results:

Of the 112 patients enrolled, majority were males (83.9%, n = 94), current/ex-smokers (82.1%, n = 92), had advanced stage (Stage IIIB = 33.9% [n = 38] and Stage IV = 46.4% [n = 52]), and were non-small cell lung cancer (72.3%, n = 81). AEs were reported in 566 cycles (94%) out of a total of 602 chemotherapy cycles. Diarrhea was the most common AE (180 cycles, 29.9%) developing after a mean (standard deviation) duration of 3.6 (2.5) days and lasting for 4 (3.3) days. Vomiting (138 cycles, 22.9%) and constipation (121 cycles, 20.1%) were other common AEs. Grade 3/4 AEs occurred in 6.9% (39/566) cycles. Need-based SCMs were required in 479 of the 566 cycles (84.6%). Proportion of patients with Grade 3/4 AEs and hospitalization was highest for mucositis (16.1% Grade 3/4 and 9.7% hospitalized); followed by vomiting (10.1% Grade 3/4 and 8.7% hospitalized). Anemia was seen in 441 of 602 chemotherapy cycles (73.3%). Frequency and severity of anemia continued to increase with each chemotherapy cycle.

Conclusion:

LC chemotherapy has a high prevalence of AEs. However, the majority are low grade recovering with need-based SCMs, without any need for hospitalization.

KEYWORDS:

Adenocarcinoma; anemia; chemoradiotherapy; malignancy; toxicity

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