S0205 was a randomized clinical trial that compared the therapeutic impact of gemcitabine versus gemcitabine plus cetuximab. Study results for patient-reported health-related quality of life (HRQL) outcomes are reported.
Patients and Methods
Patients completed the Brief Pain Inventory and a measure of emotional well-being (each measured on a 0 to 10 scale) at baseline and at weeks 5, 9, 13, and 17 postrandom assignment. Worst pain status was classified as palliated (worst pain scores < 5 maintained for 2 consecutive cycles) or not palliated (remaining patients) and tested with a χ2 test. Change in emotional well-being and worst pain (exploratory analysis) were assessed over 17 weeks using generalized estimating equations with inverse probability of censoring weights.
Seven hundred twenty of 766 enrolled patients contributed baseline HRQL data. The two treatment arms did not differ statistically in the percentage of patients with successful worst pain palliation. Longitudinal analyses showed significantly improved emotional well-being for patients on both arms by weeks 13 and 17 (P < .01 and P < .001). An exploratory longitudinal analysis of worst pain showed significant decreases at all time points for both arms (P < .01 and P < .001). Significant treatment arm differences for either worst pain or emotional well-being were not observed at any of the assessment times.
We observed palliated pain and improved well-being for patients on this trial. However, these improvements were similar in both treatment arms, suggesting that the addition of cetuximab did not contribute to improvement in these HRQL outcomes.