Introduction: Treatment impact on quality of life (QoL) informs treatment management decisions in advanced nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NS NSCLC). QoL outcomes from the phase III PointBreak trial are reported.
Methods: Chemonaive patients (n = 939) with stage IIIB/IV nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 1 were randomized (1:1) to pemetrexed-carboplatin-bevacizumab (pemetrexed arm) or paclitaxel-carboplatin-bevacizumab (paclitaxel arm). Patients without progressive disease received maintenance pemetrexed-bevacizumab (pemetrexed arm) or bevacizumab (paclitaxel arm). QoL was assessed using Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT)-General (FACT-G), FACT-Lung (FACT-L), and FACT/Gynecologic Oncology Group-Neurotoxicity (FACT-Ntx) instruments. Subscale scores, total scores, and trial outcome indices were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models. Post hoc analyses examined the association between baseline FACT scores and overall survival (OS).
Results: Mean score differences in change from baseline significantly favored the pemetrexed arm for the neurotoxicity subscale score, FACT-Ntx total scores, and FACT-Ntx trial outcome index. They occurred at cycle 2 (p < 0.001) and persisted through induction cycles 2 to 4 and six maintenance cycles. Investigator-assessed, qualitative, drug-related differences in grade 2 (1.6% versus 10.6%) and grade 3 (0.0% versus 4.1%) sensory neuropathy and grade 3/4 fatigue (10.9% versus 5.0%, p = 0.0012) were observed between the pemetrexed and paclitaxel arms. Baseline FACT-G, FACT-L, and FACT-Ntx scores were significant prognostic factors for OS (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Randomized patients reported similar changes in QoL, except for less change from baseline in neurotoxicity on the pemetrexed arm; investigators reported greater neurotoxicity on the paclitaxel arm and greater fatigue on the pemetrexed arm. Higher baseline FACT scores were favorable prognostic factors for OS.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00762034.