Cough is a common problem among cancer patients, especially lung cancer patients. Gabapentin has been shown to be effective in reducing cough number and severity in patients with idiopathic refractory cough. The authors report here the successful use of gabapentin at usual doses to treat cough in cancer patients, including two with lung cancer, with minimal side effects. Gabapentin may be a useful addition to the symptom management toolbox for palliation of cancer symptoms.
Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a leading cause of cancer deaths in developed nations. The past decade has seen the approval of numerous systemic therapies for RCC, most recently immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). Nivolumab, an anti-programmed cell death 1 antibody, was superior to everolimus in a large phase 3 trial in clear-cell RCC (ccRCC), and is now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for metastatic RCC after progression on prior anti-antiangiogenic therapy. The overall response rate is 25%, and there is a subset of patients who demonstrate pseudoprogression where initial tumor growth is followed by decreased tumor burden. Differentiating between progression and pseudoprogression has been chanllenging.
Herein we report the case of a patient with metastatic ccRCC with clinical deterioration and progression after 3 doses of nivolumab who went to hospice, only to come back 6 months later with less disease.
Purpose: Baseline use of corticosteroids is associated with poor outcomes in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with programmed cell death-1 axis inhibition. To approach the question of causation versus correlation for this association, we examined outcomes in patients treated with immunotherapy depending on whether corticosteroids were administered for cancer-related palliative reasons or cancer-unrelated indications.
Patients and methods: Clinical outcomes in patients with NSCLC treated with immunotherapy who received >= 10 mg prednisone were compared with outcomes in patients who received 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone.
RESULTS: Of 650 patients, the 93 patients (14.3%) who received >= 10 mg of prednisone at the time of immunotherapy initiation had shorter median progression-free survival (mPFS) and median overall survival (mOS) times than patients who received 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone (mPFS, 2.0 v 3.4 months, respectively; P = .01; mOS, 4.9 v 11.2 months, respectively; P < .001). When analyzed by reason for corticosteroid administration, mPFS and mOS were significantly shorter only among patients who received >= 10 mg prednisone for palliative indications compared with patients who received >= 10 mg prednisone for cancer-unrelated reasons and with patients receiving 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone (mPFS, 1.4 v 4.6 v 3.4 months, respectively; log-rank P < .001 across the three groups; mOS, 2.2 v 10.7 v 11.2 months, respectively; log-rank P < .001 across the three groups). There was no significant difference in mPFS or mOS in patients receiving >= 10 mg of prednisone for cancer-unrelated indications compared with patients receiving 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone.
CONCLUSION: Although patients with NSCLC treated with >= 10 mg of prednisone at the time of immunotherapy initiation have worse outcomes than patients who received 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone, this difference seems to be driven by a poor-prognosis subgroup of patients who receive corticosteroids for palliative indications.
Background:: Palliative care services and life-sustaining treatments are provided to dying patients with lung cancer in the United States. However, data on the utilization trends of palliative care services and life-sustaining treatments of dying patients with lung cancer are not available.
Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of the National Inpatient Sample data (2005-2014) and included patients with lung cancer, aged = 18 years, who died in the hospitals. Claims data of palliative care services and life-sustaining treatments that contained systemic procedures, local procedures, or surgeries were extracted. Compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) using Rao-Scott correction for 2 tests were used to determine the statistical significance of temporal utilization trends of palliative care services and life-sustaining treatments and their hospital costs. Multilevel multivariate regressions were performed to identify factors associated with hospital costs.
Results: A total of 120 144 weighted patients with lung cancer died in the hospitals and 41.9% of them received palliative care services. The CAGRs of systemic procedures, local procedures, surgeries, palliative care services, and hospital cost were 3.42%, 3.48%, 6.08%, 18.5%, and 5.0% (all P < .001), respectively. Increased hospital cost was attributed to systemic procedures (50.6%), local procedures (74.4%), and surgeries (68.5%; all P < .001), respectively. Palliative care services were related to decreasing hospital costs by 28.6% (P < .001).
Conclusion: The temporal trends of palliative care services indicate that their utilization has increased gradually. Palliative care services were associated with reduced hospital costs. However, life-sustaining treatments were associated with increased hospital costs.
Introduction: Lung cancer exerts a significant societal and health-care-related economic burden and chemotherapy drugs constitute a major factor of total direct cost. The aim of the present study was to assess the direct health-care cost of lung cancer in Greece by conducting a retrospective analysis on the last 6 months of life.
Methods: The present study was based on both the medical data and costs of treatment of deceased adult patients who suffered from terminal stage IIIB/IV lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer) during the last 6 months of their life. The study's protocol was approved by the Hospital's Research Ethics Committee. Costs included outpatient (outpatient services) and inpatient (inpatient services) costs. Descriptive statistics were mainly used for statistical analysis.
Results: The files of 144 patients were analyzed. The total cost of health-care services for the study population during the last 6 months of life was attributed by 57% to inpatient services, whereas chemotherapy costs (74%) comprised the largest proportion of the total inpatient cost. The highest expenditure for outpatient services was attributed to concomitant medication (59%), followed by the cost of tests (21%) and radiotherapy (20%).
Conclusions: The results of our study indicate that both inpatient and outpatient costs were substantial. The main inpatient and outpatient cost drivers were chemotherapy and concomitant medication, respectively. A more comprehensive nationwide study would be useful to validate our results and to include also indirect costs of cancer care in Greece.
Few data are available regarding treatment outcomes in lung cancer patients with metastasis who initiated mechanical ventilation in the emergency department (ED). We aimed to evaluate 28-day mortality in lung cancer patients with metastasis who initiated mechanical ventilation in the ED. Patients with solid malignancy who initiated mechanical ventilation in the ED of a tertiary hospital were retrospectively identified and stratified into four groups according to the presence of lung cancer and metastasis. Among 212 included patients, the mortality rates by the 28th hospital day were as follows: 44.2% (19/43) in non-lung cancer patients without metastasis, 63.2% (43/68) in non-lung cancer patients with metastasis, 52.4% (11/21) in lung cancer patients without metastasis, and 66.2% (53/80) in lung cancer patients with metastasis. In multivariable analysis, lung cancer patients with metastasis had significantly higher odds ratio for 28-day mortality than non-lung cancer patients without metastasis (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 7.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.14–24.01). Sepsis-related respiratory failure (adjusted OR = 2.60, 95% CI = 1.16–5.84) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (adjusted OR = 13.34, 95% CI = 4.45–39.95) over respiratory failure without sepsis and acute organ dysfunction process measured by sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score (adjusted OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.05–12.6) were independently associated with an increase in mortality rate. In conclusion, the treatment outcomes in lung cancer patients with metastasis who initiated mechanical ventilation in the ED were poor. Aggressive resuscitation versus end-of-life care in advance of an unexpected medical crisis should be considered in lung cancer patients with metastasis via a multidisciplinary approach with a consideration of underlying comorbid illnesses in the acute organ dysfunction processes.
BACKGROUND: Early palliative care (PC) improves quality of life and prolongs survival for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Despite these benefits, patient- and provider-specific barriers lead to underutilization of PC. To investigate these barriers, this 2 part study surveyed United States oncologists and patients with NSCLC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Oncologists in the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer membership directory were surveyed on referral practice and attitudes regarding the role of PC for patients with NSCLC. Patients with advanced NSCLC at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center were surveyed separately regarding their understanding of PC and factors influencing them to seek referral.
RESULTS: Of 279 oncologists, 93 responded. Eighty-three percent believe definitive evidence exists supporting early PC; however, in practice, oncologists only refer an average of 19% of patients at diagnosis. Reasons for not referring included lack of symptoms (56%), belief that oncologists can manage PC independently (46%), not wanting to burden patients with appointments (41%), concern that referral may not be well received (38%), and long wait times (20%). Of 100 patients with NSCLC, 64% were unfamiliar with PC. Six percent had seen a PC provider. Ninety-eight percent of patients would accept referral if recommended by their oncologist. Patients desired referral for uncontrolled pain (95%), weak support system (86%), other cancer-related symptoms (85%), goals of care discussion (76%), and depression/anxiety (76%).
CONCLUSION: Although most oncologists acknowledge benefits of early PC for patients with metastatic NSCLC, a minority of patients are referred. Few patients with NSCLC are familiar with PC, but most are interested in referral.
Objectives: Palliative thoracic radiotherapy (RT) can improve quality of life for patients with advanced lung cancer, but treatment can be associated with acute toxicity and symptomatic relief may take several weeks. The optimal fractionation schedule is not known. Delivery of RT near the end of life (EOL) is an emerging indicator of poor quality care. The aim of this study was to determine utilization of palliative thoracic RT in the last 4 weeks of life, and factors associated with its use, in patients with incurable lung cancer in a population-based healthcare system.
Materials and Methods: All patients with lung cancer in British Columbia treated with palliative thoracic RT in 2014 and 2015 were identified. Associations between starting a course of palliative thoracic RT within 4 weeks of death and patient/treatment characteristics were assessed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results: 1676 courses of palliative thoracic RT were delivered to 1584 lung cancer patients. Median survival was 20 weeks. 12% of palliative thoracic RT courses were delivered in the last 4 weeks of life, with short fractionation schedules and simple RT planning techniques used more frequently near EOL. Of RT courses delivered in the last 4 weeks of life 89% were courses of 1 – 5 fractions, 75% were completed as prescribed and 94% involved simple 1 – 2 field RT techniques. Receipt of RT in the last 4 weeks of life was associated with male gender, younger age, poor performance status, metastatic disease, small cell carcinoma histology and no prior chemotherapy.
Conclusion: Further study and standardization of quality indicators for palliative RT utilization near EOL is required. Whilst clarification occurs, physicians should consider the prognosis of patients with incurable lung cancer and the realistic expectation of benefit from palliative thoracic RT when considering treatment indications and fractionation schedules.
INTRODUCTION: There is evidence that people with non-malignant disease receive poorer end-of-life (EOL) care compared to people with cancer. OBJECTIVES To assess the selected aspects of symptomatic treatment and communication between physicians and patients diagnosed with either advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer.
METHODS: A questionnaire survey was conducted on-line among members of Polish Respiratory Society (PRS).
RESULTS: Correctly filled-in questionnaires were returned by 174 respondents (27.2% of those proved to be contacted by e-mail). In COPD, 32% of respondents always/often used opioids in chronic breathlessness and 18.3% always/often referred patients to palliative care (PC) specialist. Nearly 80% of respondents regarded bedside talks with people with COPD on EOL issues as essential, although only 20% would always/often initiate them. In people with lung cancer, opioids were routinely used for relief of chronic breathlessness by 80.0% of physicians; 81.7% referred patients to PC. More than half of the respondents always/often discussed EOL issues with only the patient's caregivers/relatives. Younger physicians, those caring for higher numbers of people with lung cancer and those who were better acquainted with PRS recommendations for PC in chronic lung diseases seemed to provide better EOL care for COPD patients.
CONCLUSIONS: People with COPD were seldom treated with opioids to relieve chronic breathlessness, or referred to PC consultation compared to people with lung cancer. Discussing the EOL issues with a patient was generally found challenging by physicians, and most often pursued with caregivers instead. COPD recommendations on PC may help to provide better EOL care by pulmonologists.
Introduction: The early integration of palliative care into standard cancer treatment has become a global standard. The Palliative care Emphasis program on symptom management and Assessment for Continuous medical Education (PEACE) has been conducted in Japan, and previous studies have reported that the PEACE workshop was able to improve various palliative care skills of participants. However, whether or not the effects of the program are long-lasting and if the program consequently changed physicians' practice with regard to lung cancer patients have been unclear.
Methods: Web-based surveys, including the palliative care knowledge test (PEACE-Q), the Palliative Care self-reported Practice Scale (PCPS), and the Palliative Care Difficulties Scale (PCDS), were conducted among lung cancer physicians in Japan. The differences in the survey results between participants and non-participants of the PEACE workshop were examined. Results: Among 923 respondents (455 respiratory physicians, 345 pulmonary surgeons, and 123 others), 519 had participated in the PEACE workshop. The total PEACE-Q score was significantly higher in the PEACE workshop participants than in non-participants (28.0 versus 24.5, p<0.0001). The score was significantly higher in respiratory physicians than in pulmonary surgeons (27.4 versus 25.5). The total PCPS and PCDS scores were also significantly better in workshop participants than in non-participants (71.8 versus 67.1 and 34.3 versus 36.9, respectively), although some domains of PCDS were similar between the groups. Conclusion: The PEACE program improved the knowledge and practices with regard to palliative care and resolved difficulties associated therewith among lung cancer physicians. In regions where palliative care specialists are insufficient, such educational programs may be effective.
CONTEXT: At the end of life, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer (LC) patients exhibit similar symptoms; however, a large-scale study comparing end-of-life health care utilization between these two groups has not been conducted in East Asia.
OBJECTIVES: To explore and compare end-of-life resource use during the last 6 months before death between COPD and LC patients.
METHODS: Using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, we conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study in COPD (n = 8,640) and LC (n = 3,377) patients who died between 1997 and 2013.
RESULTS: The COPD decedents were more likely to be admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) (57.59% vs 29.82%), to have longer ICU stays (17.59 vs 9.93 days), and to undergo intensive procedures than the LC decedents during their last 6 months; they were less likely to receive inpatient (3.32% vs 18.24%) or home-based palliative care (0.84% vs 8.17%) and supportive procedures than the LC decedents during their last 6 months. The average total medical cost during the last 6 months was approximately 18.42% higher for the COPD decedents than for the LC decedents.
CONCLUSION: Higher intensive health care resource use, including intensive procedure use, at the end of life suggests a focus on prolonging life in COPD patients; it also indicates an unmet demand for palliative care in these patients. Avoiding potentially inappropriate care and improving end-of-life care quality by providing palliative care to COPD patients are necessary.
Requests for hastened death and suicidal ideation may be more prevalent in populations approaching the end of life. Often these wishes and thoughts occur in the context of concurrent psychiatric disorders and emotional suffering. We discuss the case of a veteran with terminal lung cancer and comorbid psychiatric illness who attempted suicide while under the care of an inpatient interdisciplinary hospice team and describe our team's response to this suicide attempt. We review risk factors for suicidality at end of life, challenges of distinguishing desire for hastened death from suicidality, and the ethics of resuscitation of a dying patient after a suicide attempt.
OBJECTIVE: Death acceptance may indicate positive adaptation in cancer patients. Little is known about what characterizes patients with different levels of death acceptance or its impact on psychological distress. We aimed to broaden the understanding of death acceptance by exploring associated demographic, medical and psychological characteristics.
METHODS: At baseline, we studied 307 mixed cancer patients attending the University Cancer Center Hamburg and a specialized lung cancer center (age M=59.6, 69% female, 69% advanced cancer). At one-year follow-up, 153 patients participated. We assessed death acceptance using the validated Life Attitude Profile-Revised. Patients further completed the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale, the Demoralization Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire, and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire. Statistical analyses included multinomial and hierarchical regression analyses.
RESULTS: At baseline, mean death acceptance was 4.33 (SD=1.3, range 1-7). There was no change to follow-up (p=.26). When all variables were entered simultaneously, patients who experienced high death acceptance were more likely to be older (OR=1.04, 95%CI 1.01-1.07), male (OR=3.59, 95%CI 1.35-9.56), widowed (OR=3.24, 95%CI 1.01-10.41), and diagnosed with stage IV (OR=2.44, 95%CI 1.27-4.71). They were less likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer (OR=.20, 95%CI .07-.58) and their death acceptance was lower with every month since diagnosis (OR=.99, 95%CI.98-.99). High death acceptance predicted lower demoralization and anxiety at follow-up, but not depression.
CONCLUSIONS: High death acceptance was adaptive. It predicted lower existential distress and anxiety after one year. Advanced cancer did not preclude death acceptance, supporting the elaboration of death-related concerns in psychosocial interventions.
OBJECTIVE: Wearable devices such as a wrist actigraph may have a potential to objectively estimate patients' functioning and may supplement performance status (PS). This proof-of-concept study aimed to evaluate whether actigraphy data are significantly associated with patients' functioning and are predictive of their survival in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
METHOD: We collected actigraphy data for a three-day period in ambulatory patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. We computed correlations between actigraphy data (specifically, proportion of time spent immobile while awake) and clinician-rated PS, subjective report of physical activities, quality of life (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Trial Outcome Index), and survival.Result: Actigraphy data (the proportion of time awake spent immobile) were significantly correlated with Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Trial Outcome Index (r = -0.53, p < 0.001) and with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS (ECOG PS) (r = 0.37, p < 0.001). The proportion of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival. For each 10% increase in this measure, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.48 (95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.06, 2.06) for overall mortality, and odds ratio was 2.99 (CI95% = 1.27, 7.05) for six-month mortality. ECOG PS was also associated with worse survival (HR = 2.80, CI95% = 1.34, 5.86). Among patients with ECOG PS 0-1, the percentage of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival, HR = 1.93 (CI95% = 1.10, 3.42), whereas ECOG PS did not predict survival.Significance of Results: Actigraphy may have potential to predict important clinical outcomes, such as quality of life and survival, and may serve to supplement PS. Further validation study is warranted.
INTRODUCTION: The Oregon Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Program allows patients with advanced illness to document end-of-life (EOL) care preferences. We examined the characteristics and associated EOL care among Veterans with and without a registered POLST.
METHODS: Retrospective, cohort study of advanced-stage (IIIB and IV) patients with lung cancer who were diagnosed between 2008 and 2013 as recorded in the VA Central Cancer Registry. We examined a subgroup of 346 Oregon residents. We obtained clinical and sociodemographic variables from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse and EOL preferences from the Oregon POLST Registry. We compared hospice enrollment and place of death between those with and without a registered POLST.
RESULTS: Twenty-two (n = 77) percent of our cohort had registered POLST forms. Compared to those without a registered POLST, Veterans with a POLST had a higher income ($51 456 vs $48 882) and longer time between diagnosis and death (223 days vs 119 days). Those with a registered POLST were more likely to be enrolled in hospice (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.37, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01-5.54) and less likely to die in a VA facility (aOR = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.12-0.59).
CONCLUSION: There was low submission to the POLST Registry among Veterans who received care in Veterans' Health Administration. Veterans who had a registered POLST were more likely to be enrolled in hospice and less likely to die in a VA care setting. The POLST may improve metrics of high-quality EOL care; however, opportunities for improvement in submission and implementation within the VA exist.
Dans cette bande dessinée, on suit le quotidien de Max et de sa famille. Max est un adolescent dont le père est atteint d'un cancer du poumon. De l'annonce du diagnostic du père jusqu'au dénouement de la maladie, Max devra adapter ses réactions et gérer ses émotions au chambooulement que représente un cancer.
Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has a high symptom burden and poor survival. Evidence from other cancer types suggests some benefit in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with early specialist palliative care (SPC) integrated with oncological services, but the certainty of evidence is low.
Methods: We performed a multicentre, randomised, parallel group controlled trial comparing early referral to SPC versus standard care across 19 hospital sites in the UK and one large site in Western Australia. Participants had newly diagnosed MPM; main carers were additionally recruited. Intervention: review by SPC within 3 weeks of allocation and every 4 weeks throughout the study. HRQoL was assessed at baseline and every 4 weeks with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30. Primary outcome: change in EORTC C30 Global Health Status 12 weeks after randomisation.
Results: Between April 2014 and October 2016, 174 participants were randomised. There was no significant between group difference in HRQoL score at 12 weeks (mean difference 1.8 (95% CI -4.9 to 8.5; p=0.59)). HRQoL did not differ at 24 weeks (mean difference -2.0 (95% CI -8.6 to 4.6; p=0.54)). There was no difference in depression/anxiety scores at 12 weeks or 24 weeks. In carers, there was no difference in HRQoL or mood at 12 weeks or 24 weeks, although there was a consistent preference for care, favouring the intervention arm.
Conclusion: There is no role for routine referral to SPC soon after diagnosis of MPM for patients who are cared for in centres with good access to SPC when required.
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. Individuals are diagnosed at an advanced stage with limited life expectancy.
OBJECTIVES: To explore potential health disparities in hospice utilization and length of stay (LOS) in a diverse sample of patients with lung cancer.
METHODS: Demographic and clinical information as well as data for hospice utilization and LOS was extracted from electronic health records. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, 2 tests, and an analysis of variance test.
RESULTS: Data from 242 patients were analyzed. In the sample, 33% (n = 80) were Black and 51% (n = 124) lived in a rural county. At the time of data collection, 67% of the sample was deceased and 36% (n = 86) chose to enroll in hospice. No disparities were found for race, age, gender, or rural/urban dwellers in hospice enrollment. No disparities were found for race, gender, or rural/urban dwellers for hospice LOS. Age was associated with hospice LOS ( P = .004). Those who were older were more likely to have a longer LOS.
CONCLUSION: Hospice utilization and LOS were low for all groups with lung cancer in a geographically and racially diverse region of the United States. Given the rates of mortality in lung cancer, discussions about the goals and benefits of hospice care may be beneficial and should be part of an ongoing dialogue throughout the disease trajectory.
PURPOSE: Here, we present the results from a retrospective analysis, with the purpose of evaluating the safety and feasibility of nivolumab and radiotherapy (RT) concomitant association in metastatic kidney and lung cancer patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: From August 2015 until September 2017, we retrospectively observed 20 patients with metastatic lung and renal cell carcinoma who had been initiated therapy with nivolumab and underwent concomitant RT. RT was administered either as an ablative therapy in the oligometastatic/oligoprogressive setting or as palliative-only treatment for symptomatic patients. Data on progression-free and overall survival (PFS and OS), treatment response and adverse events were collected and reported. Comparison between palliative-only and ablative treatments was performed.
RESULTS: PFS and OS were 7 and 12.5 months in the entire population, respectively. Oligoprogressive patients treated with ablative intent, compared to patients undergoing RT with palliative-only intent, had statistically longer PFS (11.5 vs 5.2 months, HR 0.42, CI 0.18-0.98, p 0.03) and OS (17.9 vs 10.31 months, HR 0.41 CI 0.16-1.02, p 0.04). Considering only patients treated with ablative intent, 87.5% showed response to treatment, and complete response was reported in 37.5% of cases. Adverse G2-G3 related to combination treatment were reported as follows: 1 gastrointestinal (nausea), 4 breakthrough pain.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed significant advantage for oligoprogressive patients treated with RT during nivolumab therapy. No safety alert emerged. These results underline the potential synergistic effects of RT and Immune therapy combination. Our analysis prompts further prospective studies exploring the benefit of integrated treatment strategies.
PURPOSE: To revise the recommendation on the use of concurrent chemotherapy (CC) with palliative thoracic external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) made in the original 2011 American Society for Radiation Oncology guideline on palliative thoracic radiation for lung cancer.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Based on a systematic PubMed search showing new evidence for this key question, the task force felt an update was merited. Guideline recommendations were created using a predefined consensus-building methodology supported by American Society for Radiation Oncology-approved tools for grading evidence quality and recommendation strength.
RESULTS: Although few randomized clinical trials address the question of CC combined with palliative thoracic EBRT for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a strong consensus was reached among the task force on recommendations for incurable stage III and IV NSCLC. For patients with stage III NSCLC deemed unsuitable for curative therapy but who are (1) candidates for chemotherapy, (2) have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS of 0 to 2, and (3) have a life expectancy of at least 3 months, administration of a platinum-containing chemotherapy doublet concurrently with moderately hypofractionated palliative thoracic radiation therapy is recommended over treatment with either modality alone. For patients with stage IV NSCLC, routine use of concurrent thoracic chemoradiation is not recommended.
CONCLUSIONS: Optimal palliation of patients with incurable NSCLC requires coordinated interdisciplinary care. Recent data establish a rationale for CC with palliative thoracic EBRT for a well-defined subset of patients with incurable stage III NSCLC. For all other patients with incurable NSCLC, data remain insufficient to support this treatment approach.