According to an article recently published in Lung Cancer, the treatment combination including Taxotere® plus a platinum improves quality of life compared to Navelbine® plus platinum in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Advanced lung cancer refers to cancer that has spread from the lung to distant sites in the body. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer; “non–small cell” refers to the type of cell within the lung where the cancer originated. Treatment for advanced NSCLC is typically aimed at extending the duration of survival and/or improving quality of life since this stage of disease is considered incurable with standard therapies.
Chemotherapy remains the cornerstone of treatment for advanced NSCLC. Researchers continue to evaluate optimal chemotherapy regimens for patients with this disease.
Researchers affiliated with a large clinical trial referred to as the TAX 326 trial recently evaluated data concerning quality of life for patients treated with different chemotherapy regimens. The TAX 326 trial included over 900 patients with advanced NSCLC who were treated with either Taxotere plus carboplatin (Paraplatin®), Navelbine plus cisplatin (Platinol®), or Taxotere plus cisplatin. Both carboplatin and cisplatin are referred to as platinum compounds.
Patient quality of life was assessed utilizing two widely validated instruments: the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS), which concentrates on the physical and functional aspects of quality of life, and the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality-of-life questionnaire (EQ-5D), a general measure of health status. Quality-of-life assessments were completed before each treatment cycle, at the end of the study treatment, and every other month after the end of study treatment.
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- Quality of life was improved significantly according to LCSS and EQ-5D among patients treated with Taxotere/carboplatin compared with Navelbine/cisplatin.
- Patients treated with Taxotere/cisplatin experienced significantly less pain than those treated with Navelbine/cisplatin.
- Patients treated with either regimen containing Taxotere experienced significantly less weight loss and an improved performance status (ability to perform daily activities) compared to those treated with Navelbine/cisplatin.
- Quality of life was improved according the EQ-5D scale for patients treated with Taxotere/cisplatin over those treated with Navelbine/cisplatin.
The researchers concluded that regimens containing Taxotere plus a platinum compound significantly improve a patient’s quality of life compared with Navelbine/cisplatin in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. These results are significant considering that chemotherapy for patients with advanced NSCLC is largely aimed at maintaining or improving quality of life.
Patients with advanced NSCLC may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of each treatment option.
Reference: Belani CP, Pereira JR, von Pawel J, et al. Effect of Chemotherapy for Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer on Patients’ Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Lung Cancer. 2006;53:231-239.
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