INTRODUCTION:: The TORCH (Tarceva or Chemotherapy) trial randomized patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer to first-line erlotinib followed by second-line cisplatin/gemcitabine versus. standard inverse sequence. The trial, designed to test noninferiority in overall survival, was stopped at interim analysis because of inferior survival in the experimental arm. Quality of life (QoL), a secondary outcome, is reported here. METHODS:: QoL was assessed at baseline and every 3 weeks during first-line, using European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire - Core 30 and QLQ-lung cancer specific module (LC13). Mean changes from baseline within arms were reported. QoL response and time-to-deterioration of QoL using a competing-risk approach were compared between treatment arms. RESULTS:: Six hundred and thirty patients (83%) completed baseline questionnaires. Compliance was affected by differential treatment efficacy, but was similar between arms for patients without progression or death. Significant differences in QoL responses were observed favoring chemotherapy for pain, sleeping, dyspnea, diarrhea, and favoring erlotinib for vomiting, constipation, sore mouth, and alopecia. In the small subset of patients with EGFR-mutated tumors, all selected items (global QoL, physical functioning, cough, dyspnea and pain) improved, whereas worsening or no change was observed in wild-type patients. Improvement was particularly evident in the first-line erlotinib arm as for global QoL and physical functioning. CONCLUSIONS:: QoL was impacted by differential toxicity and efficacy between arms. Functional domains and global QoL did not differ, although some symptoms were better controlled with chemotherapy in unselected non-small-cell lung cancer patients.
- Advanced non-small-cell lung cancer
- First-line treatment
- Health-related quality of life
- Randomized trial
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine