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The role of chemotherapy in patients with small cell lung cancer and poor performance status

In Acta Oncologica
By: Noronha V.
Contributor(s): Ravind R | Patil VM | Mokal S | Joshi A | Menon N | Kapoor A | Mahajan A | Janu A | Nakti D | Shah L | Shah S | Prabhash K [Corresponding Author ].
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: 2020Description: .Subject(s): Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) | Chemotherapy | Best supportive care (BSC) | Performance status (PS) In: Acta OncologicaSummary: Abstract Background: There are limited data on the role of chemotherapy in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and poor performance status (PS). Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective observational study in patients with SCLC and PS 3 or 4. We recorded the initial therapy, symptom improvement, response rate, overall survival (OS), and the impact of various factors on OS. Results: From June 2010 to August 2019, we enrolled 234 patients; 185 (79%) with PS 3 and 49 (21%) PS 4. Initial therapy was best supportive care (BSC) in 49 patients (21%), standard full dose chemotherapy in 31 (13%), and attenuated chemotherapy in 154 (66%). In 89% patients treated with attenuated chemotherapy, symptom-relief occurred at a median of 3 days (IQR, 1-7). Grade 3 and higher toxicities developed in 60% patients treated with initial attenuated chemotherapy, commonly hyponatremia in 39%, neutropenia in 16%, anemia in 11%, and infection in 10%. Grade 3 and higher toxicities as a result of standard chemotherapy occurred in 89% patients treated with upfront standard full dose chemotherapy compared to 69% of patients who received initial attenuated chemotherapy with subsequent treatment escalation. Overall, there were 6 (2.6%) toxic deaths. The response rate to chemotherapy was 77%. The median OS of the patients who received any chemotherapy was significantly longer at 6 months (95% CI, 4.8-7.2) compared to 1 month (95% CI, 0.4-1.6 months) in patients who were managed with BSC, p < 0.001; hazard ratio, 0.39 (95% CI, 0.27-0.56). The disease stage, lactate dehydrogenase level, and receipt of chemotherapy significantly impacted survival. Conclusion: Chemotherapy prolongs survival in patients with SCLC and poor PS. Administering an initial attenuated chemotherapy regimen followed by standard full-dose chemotherapy when the PS improves may lower toxicity and improve tolerance.
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Articles Articles Tata Memorial Hospital
Available AR20333

Address for Corresponding Author: kumarprabashtmh@gmail.com

Abstract
Background: There are limited data on the role of chemotherapy in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and poor performance status (PS).

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective observational study in patients with SCLC and PS 3 or 4. We recorded the initial therapy, symptom improvement, response rate, overall survival (OS), and the impact of various factors on OS.

Results: From June 2010 to August 2019, we enrolled 234 patients; 185 (79%) with PS 3 and 49 (21%) PS 4. Initial therapy was best supportive care (BSC) in 49 patients (21%), standard full dose chemotherapy in 31 (13%), and attenuated chemotherapy in 154 (66%). In 89% patients treated with attenuated chemotherapy, symptom-relief occurred at a median of 3 days (IQR, 1-7). Grade 3 and higher toxicities developed in 60% patients treated with initial attenuated chemotherapy, commonly hyponatremia in 39%, neutropenia in 16%, anemia in 11%, and infection in 10%. Grade 3 and higher toxicities as a result of standard chemotherapy occurred in 89% patients treated with upfront standard full dose chemotherapy compared to 69% of patients who received initial attenuated chemotherapy with subsequent treatment escalation. Overall, there were 6 (2.6%) toxic deaths. The response rate to chemotherapy was 77%. The median OS of the patients who received any chemotherapy was significantly longer at 6 months (95% CI, 4.8-7.2) compared to 1 month (95% CI, 0.4-1.6 months) in patients who were managed with BSC, p < 0.001; hazard ratio, 0.39 (95% CI, 0.27-0.56). The disease stage, lactate dehydrogenase level, and receipt of chemotherapy significantly impacted survival.

Conclusion: Chemotherapy prolongs survival in patients with SCLC and poor PS. Administering an initial attenuated chemotherapy regimen followed by standard full-dose chemotherapy when the PS improves may lower toxicity and improve tolerance.

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