Retrospective analysis of the treatment of patients with small cell lung cancer showing poor performance status

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 1996 Jun;26(3):128-33. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jjco.a023195.


To assess the feasibility of treatments for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) showing a poor performance status (PS, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; ECOG 3 or 4), we retrospectively reviewed the outcome for 13 SCLC patients showing poor PS treated at the National Cancer Center Hospital between January 1984 and May 1994. The main factors which contributed to poor prognosis were superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome, massive pleural effusion, tracheal stenosis due to lymph node swelling, pericardial effusion and pulmonary fibrosis (causing dyspnea in combination), brain metastasis resulting in neurological disturbance, cachexia, Eaton-Lambert syndrome causing muscle weakness, retroperitoneal lymph node metastasis causing abdominal pain, peritoneal effusion due to abdominal lymph node swelling, vertebral metastasis causing paraplegia, and dermatomyositis/polymyositis (DM/PM) causing muscle weakness. All of the patients received chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy. The PS of 8 patients improved with treatment, but no improvement was seen in 5. We analyzed these 13 patients and considered the treatments for those with poor PS. Chemo-radiotherapy was tolerable in SCLC patients showing PS 3, and improved their PS if severe conditions or combined disease did not arise concurrently. It was further suggested that PS 4 patients with severe conditions or combined disease should not be given the treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / complications
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies