Early Weight Loss during Chemoradiotherapy Has a Detrimental Impact on Outcome in NSCLC

Karin J. C. Sanders*, Lizza E. Hendriks, Esther G. C. Troost, Gerben P. Bootsma, Ruud Houben, Annemie M. W. J. Schols, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of early weight loss before the onset of radiation esophagitis on overall survival (OS) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Methods: Characteristics (e.g., patient weight, radiation esophagitis score, sex, World Health Organization performance status, chemotherapy dose, nodal status, and gross tumor volume) of 151 patients who received concurrent chemoradiotherapy (in 2006-2013) were retrospectively correlated with OS. Early weight loss was defined as weight loss of more than 5% between the start and third week of radiotherapy in patients whose weight was stable before treatment initiation. Results: In 17% of the patients early weight loss was observed. Median OS (95% confidence interval [CI]) was significantly shorter in the early weight loss group (OS = 13.0 months, 95% CI: 2.0-24.0) versus in the non-early weight loss group (OS = 23.0 months, 95% CI: 14.7-31.3) (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.12-2.96, p = 0.017). On multivariate analysis sex (HR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.33-3.29, p = 0.001), World Health Organization performance status (HR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.20-2.97, p = 0.006), nodal status (HR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.38-6.01, p = 0.005), and early weight loss (HR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.10-3.19, p = 0.022) were associated with OS. Conclusions: Early weight loss in patients with non-small cell lung cancer was found to be associated with worse prognosis. These data warrant further investigation into the efficacy of tailored intervention to prevent early weight loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-879
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Weight loss
  • Cachexia
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Survival


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