OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect on quality of life (QOL) of the addition of cisplatin to single-agent chemotherapy in the treatment of elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) enrolled in two parallel phase 3 trials, MILES-3 and MILES-4.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Advanced NSCLC pts, >70 years old, performance status (PS) 0-1, were eligible. Patients were randomly assigned to chemotherapy without or with cisplatin. EORTC QLQ C30 and LC13 questionnaires were planned at baseline, end of cycle 1 and end of cycle 2 in both trials and were used for joint QOL analysis. Trial-specific data including questionnaires at non-shared time-points were used for additional analyses. Intention-to-treat strategy was applied. Analyses were adjusted for baseline QOL, stage, performance status, gender, age, size of centre, trial, histotype and non-platinum companion drug.
RESULTS: Overall, 458/531 pts (86%) answered baseline questionnaire and missing rates over treatment were slightly higher among patients receiving cisplatin. Mean change in sore mouth after cycle 2 was worse with cisplatin (P = 0.02). The size of differences between arms was in the small-medium range for peripheral neuropathy and alopecia (0.25 and 0.31 after one and 0.28 and 0.36 after two cycles, respectively) and for nausea/vomiting, sore mouth and dysphagia after two cycles (0.26, 0.38 and 0.25, respectively) always in the direction of worsening with cisplatin. Using a 10% change from baseline as clinically relevant threshold to categorize response, there was no significant difference between the arms. Time to deterioration of sore mouth and alopecia, with progression/death as competitive risk, was shorter with cisplatin (HR 1.72 95%CI 1.02-2.89, P = 0.04 and HR 1.84 95%CI 1.09-3.10, P = 0.02, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The addition of cisplatin to single agent chemotherapy worsens sore mouth and alopecia and does not improve any QOL items in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC.