Quality-of-life assessment in advanced lung cancer: Considerations for evaluation in patients receiving chemotherapy

Richard J. Gralla, Nick Thatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


There is increasing awareness of the need for accurate assessmentof quality of life in patients with lung cancer who are on clinical trials and in patient management. Self-reported multidimensional, validated, quality-of-life instruments assess physical, functional, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions associated with lung cancer and its treatment. Such validated instruments are now available and are being utilized more frequently in clinical trials assessing the value of particular anticancer therapies. Such findings may influence the treatment of choice for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly in the advanced-disease setting where survival benefits from current treatments are modest, and the majority of patients present with three or more symptoms. Recently, a number of studies assessing quality of life in NSCLC have been published providing more insight into the effects of the disease and its treatment on the patient's perspective. Quality-of-life instruments that include patient reported outcomes ("PROS") and quality-of-life and symptom assessment are the only way to evaluate this crucial aspect of cancer care. As an example, Fossella and colleagues reported notable findings from the largest prospective evaluation (the TAX 326 trial) of quality of life using validated instruments in patients with NSCLC who received chemotherapy. Patients who received a docetaxel plus platinum combination regimen reported modest benefits in both quality of life and in disease-related parameters, such as pain control, weight loss, and performance status, compared to patients randomly assigned to the combination of vinorelbine and cisplatin. Compliance with the PRO assessment was high, supporting the feasibility of prospective quality-of-life evaluations in NSCLC. Important goals include building on these results by including quality-of-life assessment in all major clinical trials, and demonstrating feasible ways to incorporate this evaluation into daily clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S41-S47
JournalLung Cancer
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Docetaxel
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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