Prospective study on quality of life before and after radical radiotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer

J.A. Langendijk*, N.K. Aaronson, J.M. de Jong, G.P.M. ten Velde, M.J. Muller, R.J.S. Lamers, B.J. Slotman, E.F.M. Wouters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

58 Citations (Web of Science)


Prospective study on quality of life before and after radical radiotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer.

Langendijk JA, Aaronson NK, de Jong JM, ten Velde GP, Muller MJ, Lamers RJ, Slotman BJ, Wouters EF.

Radiotherapeutisch Instituut Limburg, Heerlen, The Netherlands.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in respiratory symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving radical radiotherapy (60 Gy). Additionally, the association between the level of symptom relief and objective tumor response, as well as with radiation-induced pulmonary changes, was investigated. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred sixty-four patients were entered onto this prospective study. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ)-C30 and EORTC QLQ-LC13 were used to investigate changes in QOL: Assessments were performed before radiotherapy and 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after the completion of radiotherapy. RESULTS: The QoL response rates were excellent for hemoptysis (83%); good for chest pain (68%), arm/shoulder pain (63%), and appetite loss (60%); and poor for dyspnea (37%), cough (31%), and fatigue (28%). The QoL response rates for the five functioning scales of the QLQ-C30 varied from 35% for physical and role functioning to 55% for social and cognitive functioning. The response rate for global QoL was 36%. A significant association was found between tumor response and palliation of chest pain, arm/shoulder pain, and physical functioning. During radiotherapy, a significant increase for most general symptoms and a deterioration in functioning and QoL were noted. CONCLUSION: This study is the first to describe palliation and changes in QoL in radically irradiated patients with NSCLC. Radical radiotherapy offers palliation of respiratory symptoms and improved QoL in a substantial proportion of patients with NSCLC who have relatively good prognostic features. Although tumor reduction is associated with palliation of respiratory symptoms, it cannot serve as a surrogate for palliation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

Cite this