Postprogression survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer who receive second-line or third-line chemotherapy

Hidetoshi Hayashi, Isamu Okamoto, Masataka Taguri, Satoshi Morita, Kazuhiko Nakagawa
Clinical Lung Cancer 2013, 14 (3): 261-6

BACKGROUND: The increased availability of active agents has improved overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We previously showed that postprogression survival (PPS) is highly associated with OS in the first-line setting, but little is known about PPS in the salvage setting. In this study, we analyzed PPS in phase III trials in the second-line or third-line setting.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A literature search identified 18 trials for previously treated patients with advanced NSCLC. We partitioned OS into progression-free survival (PFS) and PPS and evaluated the association between OS and either PFS or PPS. Correlation analysis to examine whether a treatment benefit for PFS carried over to OS was performed by calculation of incremental gains in OS and PFS at the trial level.

RESULTS: The average median PPS was longer than the average median PFS (5.4 and 2.6 months, respectively). The induction rate for subsequent chemotherapy after second-line or third-line treatment was related to the duration of PPS in linear regression analysis (r(2) = 0.4813). Median OS was highly associated with median PPS but not with PFS (r = 0.94 and 0.51, respectively), and only a weak association between the treatment benefits for PFS and OS was detected (r = 0.29).

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment benefit for OS in patients with advanced NSCLC can be skewed by the effects of subsequent therapies in the second-line or third-line setting. Whether PFS or OS is the more appropriate endpoint for trials in the salvage setting should be considered.

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