Improvements of quality of life in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer treated with gefitinib
ABSTRACT ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of gefitinib on improvement of quality of life (QoL) of patients with advanced
non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
MethodsThere were 70 patients with advanced NSCLC. One oral gefitinib tablet (250 mg) was administered every day without interruption
unless disease progression or unacceptable toxicity occurred. The impact of treatment on disease-related symptoms and QoL
was evaluated with the Chinese versions of European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires
(EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-LC13).
ResultsFifty-eight patients had finished the questionnaires. The mean scores of five functioning scales (physical, role, emotional,
cognitional and social) were 62.64, 56.03, 68.41, 64.67, 60.63 respectively after eight weeks of treatment, which were 52.30,
49.43, 64.39, 59.79, 52.30 respectively before treatment, and the mean score of global QoL after and before treatment was
60.17 and 52.70 respectively. There was statistical difference in five functioning scales and global QoL (P < 0.05). Mean scores of main general symptoms (fatigue and appetite loss) were 57.66 and 48.08 respectively after eight weeks
of treatment, which were 61.11 and 51.72 respectively before treatment, and mean scores of disease-related symptoms (dyspnoea,
coughing, empsyxis, pain in chest) were 48.66, 47.13, 26.82, 24.71 respectively after eight weeks of treatment, which were
54.98, 53.64, 27.78, 28.54 respectively before treatment. There was statistical difference in fatigue, dyspnoea, cough and
pain in chest (P < 0.05). Response rate of five functioning and global QoL were all more than 50% after gefitinib treatment. Response rate
of main general symptoms and disease-related symptoms were all more than 40%. QoL and symptom response correlated with disease
control. The patients with better QoL had longer survival.
Conclusiongefitinib treatment can improve the QoL and symptoms of advanced NSCLC patients.