Prognostic Factors in Patients with Terminal Stage Lung Cancer

Journal of palliative medicine (Impact Factor: 1.91). 01/2014; 17(2). DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2013.0448
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Abstract Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death.(1) Accurate prediction of survival in the terminal stage is important, because it may help patients make a rational decision. Although several prognostic scores have been described as effective indicators of outcome, these scores were intended for patients with other types of cancers. There is no prognostic score for patients with terminal-stage lung cancer. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine prognostic factors for patients with terminal-stage lung cancer. Setting/Subjects: Patients in our palliative care unit (PCU) were selected retrospectively and divided into two independent groups, training and testing. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on data from the training group to detect independent prognostic factors, while data from patients in the testing group were analyzed to validate whether these prognostic factors predicted near-term death. Results: Ninety-three patients (69 in the training group and 24 in the testing group) were included in the analyses. Multivariate analysis showed that fatigue, anorexia, desaturation, hyponatremia, and hypoalbuminemia were independent prognostic factors in the training group. Mean survival time in patients who had more than three of these five factors was 9.2±2.6 days (p=0.012). In the testing group, the presence of more than three of these five factors predicted death within two weeks, with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 75%. Conclusions: This study revealed that fatigue, anorexia, desaturation, hyponatremia, and hypoalbuminemia may be short-term prognostic factors in terminally ill lung cancer patients. In particular, the presence of more than three of these factors predicted death within two weeks.

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