Patient-reported outcomes as a prognostic marker of survival in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer treated with immunotherapy

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20 Citations (Scopus)


There has been minimal research on the prognostic value of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). The relative performance of PROs compared to established markers such as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG-PS) and the Lung Immune Prognostic Index (LIPI) is unknown. In our study, data from the advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) single-arm atezolizumab trials BIRCH, FIR and randomised-trials OAK, POPLAR (atezolizumab vs docetaxel) were pooled. The study included 1548 participants who initiated atezolizumab. The associations between pretreatment PROs and overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were modelled using Cox proportional hazards regression. Prediction performance was assessed using the C-statistic (c). PROs were recorded via the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-LC13. Patient-reported physical function, fatigue, global health, appetite, role function, pain, dyspnoea, social function, constipation, nausea-vomiting, emotional function and coughing were significantly associated with OS and PFS on univariable and adjusted analysis (P <.05). Physical function (c = 0.654), fatigue (c = 0.653) and global health (c = 0.650) were the most predictive variables for OS. Comparatively, the OS prediction performance of physical function (c = 0.65) was superior to ECOG-PS (c =.59) and LIPI (c = 0.63). On multivariable analysis physical function, ECOG-PS and LIPI were all significant (P <.001). In conclusion, PROs were identified as independent prognostic factors for OS and PFS in advanced NSCLC patients receiving ICI therapy. Further, patient-reported physical function was more predictive of OS than ECOG-PS and LIPI and contained independent information. This highlights the value of PROs as prognostic and stratification factors for clinical use and research trials of ICIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3085-3089
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Early online date3 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • prediction
  • survival


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