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Eligibility Of Patients With Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer For Phase III Chemotherapy Trials

J. Vardy, Ryan Dadasovich, P. Beale, M. Boyer, S. Clarke
Published 2008 · Medicine

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BackgroundEvidence that chemotherapy improves survival and quality of life in patients with stage IIIB & IV non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is based on large randomized controlled trials. The purpose of this study was to determine eligibility of patients with advanced NSCLC for major chemotherapy trials.MethodsPhysicians treating stage IIIB/IV NSCLC at Sydney Cancer Centre assessed patient eligibility for the E1594, SWOG9509 and TAX326 trials for patients presenting from October 2001 to December 2002. A review of the centre's registry was used to obtain missing data.Results199 patients with advanced NSCLC were registered during the 14-month period. Characteristics of 100 patients were defined prospectively, 85 retrospectively: 77% males, median age 68 (range 32–88), 64% stage IV disease. Only 35% met trial eligibility for E1594 and 28% for SWOG9509 and TAX326. Common reasons for ineligibility were: co-morbidities 75(40%); ECOG Performance Status ≥2 72(39%); symptomatic brain metastasis 15(8%); and previous cancers 21(11%). Many patients were ineligible by more than one criterion.ConclusionThe majority of patients with advanced NSCLC were ineligible for the large chemotherapy trials. The applicability of trial results to advanced lung cancer populations may be limited. Future trials should be conducted in a more representative population.
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