Background. For non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) Patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, first-line gefitinib produced a longer progressionfree survival interval than first-line carboplatin plus paclitaxel but did not show any survival advantage in the North East Japan 002 study. This report describes the quality of life (QoL) analysis of that study. Methods. Chemotherapy-naïve patients with sensitive EGFR-mutated, advanced NSCLC were randomized to receive gefitinib or chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel). Patient QoL was assessed weekly using the Care Notebook, and the primary endpoint of the QoL analysis was time to deterioration from baseline on each of the physical, mental, and life well-being QoL scales. Kaplan- Meier probability curves and log-rank tests were employed to clarify differences. Results. QoL data from 148 patients (72 in the gefitinib arm and 76 in the carboplatin plus paclitaxel arm) were analyzed. Time to defined deterioration in physical and life well-being significantly favored gefitinib over chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] of time to deterioration, 0.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23- 0.50; p <.0001 and HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.28 - 0.65; p <.0001, respectively). Conclusion. QoL was maintained much longer in patients treated with gefitinib than in patients treated with standard chemotherapy, indicating that gefitinib should be considered as the standard first-line therapy for advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC in spite of no survival advantage.
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