BACKGROUND: There is no consensus regarding chemotherapy to patients with advanced NSCLC (ANSCLC) and performance status (PS) 2. Using data from a national multicenter study comparing two third-generation carboplatin-based regimens in ANSCLC patients, we evaluated the outcome of PS 2 patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The 123 PS 2 patients were compared to 309 PS 0/1 patients regarding survival, quality of life (QOL) and treatment toxicity.
RESULTS: PS 2 patients had lower haemoglobin, lower global QOL and more pain, nausea/vomiting and dyspnea at inclusion. 68% of PS 2 patients received three chemotherapy courses vs. 85% in the PS 0/1 group (P<0.01). Median and 1-year survival were lower in the PS 2 group, 4.5 vs. 8.9 months and 10% vs. 37% (P<.01). More PS 2 patients needed blood transfusions (P=0.03) and hospitalization (P<0.01). In contrast, PS 2 patients had better relief of pain and dyspnea, and tended to a better global QOL and did not experience more leucopoenia, infections or bleeding.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite shorter survival, treatment toxicity was acceptable and PS 2 patients achieved better improvement of pain and dyspnea and tended to better global QOL when compared to PS 0/1 patients.