Early weight loss in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with worse prognosis, a study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology has shown.1

For this study, researchers sought to evaluate the impact of early weight loss prior to the onset of radiation-induced esophagitis on overall survival in patients with NSCLC receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy.

Investigators retrospectively analyzed data from 151 patients who received concurrent chemoradiotherapy between 2006 and 2013. Early weight loss was defined as a greater than 5% reduction in weight between the onset of and the third week of radiotherapy in patients whose weight was stable before the beginning of treatment.

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Researchers identified 26 patients who experienced early weight loss. Results showed that median overall survival was 13.0 (95% CI: 2.0-24.0) in the early weight loss group compared with 23.0 months (14.7-31.3) in the non-early weight loss group (HR, 1.8; 95% CI: 1.12-2.96; P=.017).

Researchers found that gender (HR, 2.1; 95% CI: 1.33-3.29; P=.001), World Health Organization performance status (HR, 1.9; 95% CI: 1.20-2.97; P=.006), nodal status (HR, 2.9; 95% CI: 1.38-6.01; P=.005), and early weight loss (HR, 1.9; 95% CI: 1.10-3.19; P=.022) were associated with overall survival.

These findings suggest that interventions to prevent early weight loss warrant further investigation.


1. Sanders KJC, Hendriks LE, Troost EGC, et al. Early weight loss during chemoradiotherapy has detrimental impact on outcome in NSCLC [published online ahead of print February 29, 2016]. J Thorac Oncol. doi:10.1016/j.jtho.2016.02.013.