According to results of a Dutch prospective study of patients with locally advanced or metastatic thoracic cancer receiving chemotherapy with pemetrexed, lower patient satisfaction with treatment was associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores and higher frequencies of low-grade adverse events. This study was published online in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Previous studies have shown an association between administration of systemic chemotherapy in advanced thoracic cancers and HRQoL deficits. Nevertheless, how specific patients’ perceptions of chemotherapy influence their HRQoL in the setting of thoracic cancer treatment is unclear.

In this prospective, observational, multicenter cohort study of patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and unresectable mesothelioma treated with pemetrexed as part of first- or second-line treatment, patient HRQoL was investigated using 2 separate assessments, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30, before receipt of chemotherapy, and after the second and fourth chemotherapy cycles. 

In addition, another instrument, the Cancer Therapy Satisfaction Questionnaire (CTSQ), which has 3 domains covering expectations of therapy, feelings about side effects, and satisfaction with therapy, was administered following the fourth cycle of chemotherapy. Patient sociodemographic data were also collected, and information related to side effects experienced during chemotherapy was gleaned from patient interviews and medical records. 

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Sixty-nine patients completed the CTSQ and HRQoL assessments. With the exception of social relationships, patients’ feelings about chemotherapy side effects were associated with HRQoL measures. In addition, grade 1 and 2 side effects were associated with negative feelings about chemotherapy (=.007).  

In conclusion, the authors wrote that “it is recommended that in clinical practice, physicians facilitate vigorous management of low-grade adverse events to enhance the HRQoL of patients.”

Reference

de Mol M, Visser S, den Oudsten BL, et al. Frequency of low-grade adverse events and quality of life during chemotherapy determine patients’ judgement about treatment in advanced-stage thoracic cancer [published online January 28, 2019]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-019-4659-x.