Quality of life analyses from the randomized, open-label, phase III PointBreak study of pemetrexed-carboplatin-bevacizumab followed by maintenance pemetrexed-bevacizumab versus paclitaxel-carboplatin-bevacizumab followed by maintenance bevacizumab in patients with stage IIIB or IV nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer

J Thorac Oncol. 2015 Feb;10(2):353-9. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0000000000000277.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glutamates / administration & dosage
  • Guanine / administration & dosage
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Pemetrexed
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Glutamates
  • Pemetrexed
  • Bevacizumab
  • Guanine
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00762034