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01-06-2016 | Uitgave 6/2016

Quality of Life Research 6/2016

Health-related quality of life after first-line anti-cancer treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer in clinical practice

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2016
Szu-Chun Yang, Wu-Wei Lai, Tzuen-Ren Hsiue, Wu-Chou Su, Cheng-Kuan Lin, Jing-Shiang Hwang, Jung-Der Wang
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-015-1174-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



This study attempted to compare changes in the Quality-of-Life (QoL) scores after three different first-line anti-cancer treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a real-world clinical setting.

Patients and methods

From May 2011 to December 2013, we prospectively measured the QoL scores of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC using the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life—Brief (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire. Each QoL measurement was matched by age and sex with one healthy referent from the National Health Interview Survey. Dynamic changes in patients’ QoL scores and major determinants were repeatedly assessed by construction of a mixed-effects model to adjust for possible confounders.


A total of 336 patients with 577 QoL measurements related to first-line anti-cancer treatments were enrolled. Performance status was the most important predictor of QoL scores in all domains after controlling for potential confounders. With age- and sex-matched healthy subjects as the reference, patients treated with gemcitabine + platinum showed significantly lower scores in multiple physical and psychological domain items in the WHOQOL-BREF. However, pemetrexed + platinum and gefitinib/erlotinib affected patients’ QoL scores in ‘energy/fatigue’ and ‘daily activities’ with smaller magnitudes, and the scores appeared to improve after 3–4 months of treatment.


Patients receiving gemcitabine + platinum as first-line anti-cancer treatment for advanced NSCLC experienced relatively poor QoL scores throughout treatment course. Studies to develop a real-time computerized system automatically updating the mixed-effects model for QoL to facilitate participatory clinical decision making by physicians, patients, and their families merit further research.

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