Impact of gefitinib ('Iressa') treatment on the quality of life of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

Alain Gelibter, Anna Ceribelli, Camillo F. Pollera, Michele Milella, Luca Moscetti, Isabella Sperduti, Francesco Cognetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have a short life expectancy; therefore, in addition to increasing their survival, improving their quality of life (QoL) is also an important treatment goal. Methods: We evaluated the QoL of patients with advanced NSCLC who were unfit to receive chemotherapy, failed to respond or progress following prior chemotherapy, who received subsequent treatment with gefitinib ('Iressa') on a compassionate use basis, using a standard QoL questionnaire, (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and the related lung cancer-specific module QLQ-LC13. Results: Analysis of the functional scales showed a trend towards improvement for role, emotional and cognitive scales, while a substantial stability was seen for general QoL scale. Analysis of the symptoms scales of QLQ-C30, showed a trend towards improvement for fatigue, dyspnoea, insomnia, and constipation, after one month of therapy. Fifty-six of the 57 patients were considered evaluable for response. One patient evidenced a partial response (patient is still on response), 29 patients had stable disease for a median duration of 5months (range 4-7 months), and 26 patients progressed. Conclusions: After treatment with Gefitinib, we observed maintenance of QoL in a group of patients with poor prognosis that would be expected to have a worsening QoL. Furthermore important symptoms like dyspnoea fatigue and pain in other parts, that usually afflict patients with NSCLC, showed a trend toward improvement after only one month of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-788
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Gefitinib ('Iressa')
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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