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BMC Cancer. 2012; 12: 14.
Published online 2012 January 13. doi:  10.1186/1471-2407-12-14
PMCID: PMC3293714

Second-line Treatment of Stage III/IV Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) with pemetrexed in routine clinical practice: Evaluation of performance status and health-related quality of life

Abstract

Background

Second-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) improves overall survival. There is a lack of data regarding the impact on patients' overall health condition. This prospective, non-interventional study evaluated performance status (PS) and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) during second-line pemetrexed treatment in routine clinical practice.

Methods

Stage III/IV NSCLC patients who initiated second-line pemetrexed (standard vitamin and dexamethasone supplementation) were observed for a maximum of 9 treatment cycles. The primary objective was to evaluate the proportion of patients achieving improvement of Karnofsky Index (KI) of ≥ 10% (absolute) or maintaining KI ≥ 80% after the second treatment cycle ("KI benefit response"). HR-QoL was self-rated using the EuroQoL-5D questionnaire (EQ-5D). Factors potentially associated with KI benefit response were evaluated using logistic regression models.

Results

Of 521 eligible patients (73.5% Stage IV, median age 66.3 yrs, 36.1% ≥ 70 yrs, 62.0% with KI ≥ 80%), 471 (90.4%) completed at least 2 treatment cycles. 58.0% (95%CI 53.6%;62.2%) achieved KI benefit response after the second cycle. Patients with baseline KI ≥ 80%, no Grade 3/4 toxicities during the first 2 cycles, or combination regimen as prior first-line therapy were more likely to achieve a KI benefit response. EQ-5D scores improved over time. Grade 3/4 toxicities were reported in 23.8% of patients (mainly fatigue/asthenia 15.9%, neutropenia 8.7%).

Conclusions

In this large prospective, non-interventional study of second-line pemetrexed treatment in patients with advanced NSCLC, including 36% elderly patients ( ≥ 70 years), physician-rated PS and self-rated HR-QoL were maintained or improved in the majority of patients.

Trial registration

Registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00540241) on October 4, 2007


Articles from BMC Cancer are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central