The following article features coverage from the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

CHICAGO — Neurocognitive function (NCF) impacts health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with advanced lung cancer and should be considered in treatment planning, researchers reported at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

Grainne M. O’Kane, MD, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues enrolled 94 patients with stage IV lung cancer with and without brain metastases (BM). All had completed NCF testing with the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R), which assesses verbal learning and memory; Trail Making tests part A and B, which evaluates processing and executive function; and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), which assesses verbal fluency and executive function. Patients also completed the EQ-5D, a generic quality of life measure. From this tool, investigators generated health utility scores (HUS).

Continue Reading

Results showed that NCF was correlated with HUS. HTVL-R scores were specific for BM-related NCF, whereas the Trail Making tests and COWAT were associated with NCF in all patients regardless of BM status.

BM or its treatment, or both, may negatively impact HRQOL, Dr O’Kane and colleagues stated in a poster presentation. Expanding treatment options for advanced lung cancer are improving prognosis and survival, so assessing HRQOL is becoming increasingly important, they noted.

“The impact of uncontrolled brain disease and poor neurocognitive function on health utility scores demonstrates that this measure has clinical utility, with important HRQOL implications as metastatic lung cancer patients live longer,” the investigators concluded. 

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting by visiting the conference page.


1. O’Kane GM, Tse BC, Tam V, et al. Neurocognitive function testing and health related quality of life in stage IV lung cancer patients with and without brain metastases. Poster presentation at: the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; June 2-6, 2017; Chicago, IL.