Background: Poor performance status patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have frequently been excluded from clinical trials due to the perception that they would have excessive treatment-related toxicity and a limited life expectancy. Methods: A retrospective review of two multicenter trials centered at the University of North Carolina of patients who were treated with platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC was conducted. Patients were divided into two subgroups based on Karnofsky performance status (KPS). Patients with a KPS = 70 were considered to have poor performance status, while patients with a KPS ≥80 were considered to have good performance status. Results: Of the 387 patients, 19% (n = 73) had a poor performance status. The response rate (complete and partial responses) was similar between the two sub-groups (26% versus 28%); however, there was a difference in survival (p = 0.0004, log-rank test) between the groups. The median survival and 1-year survival rate for the poor performance status patients was 4.9 months and 21%, while the good performance status patients had a median survival of 8.4 months and a 1-year survival rate of 31%. The rate of National Cancer Institute (NCI) Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) toxicities was similar between the two groups (p = 0.33). The percentage of patients receiving <4 cycles of therapy in the poor and good performance status was 55 and 39%, respectively (p = 0.012). Conclusions: Patients with poor performance status treated with platinum based chemotherapy have a similar rate of toxicity compared to good performance status patients. Their overall survival was lower despite a similar response to chemotherapy.
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
- Performance status (PS)
- Poor performance status
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research