Lung Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities

October 14, 2013
Giorgio V. Scagliotti, MD, PhD

Giorgio V. Scagliotti, MD, PhD, discusses toxicities related to chemotherapy and surgery in patients with lung cancer.

Giorgio V. Scagliotti, MD, PhD, Head, Thoracic Oncology Unit, Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano, Italy, discusses toxicities related to chemotherapy and surgery in patients with lung cancer.

Pain and other toxicities vary from patient to patient, Scagliotti says, though those who undergo major surgery are likely to experience more symptoms compared to chemotherapy. Even with a molecularly-targeted therapy approach, some side effects are present. Studies with a quality of life assessment nested into the main study have enabled disease-related symptoms to vastly improve.

Skin and GI toxicities have been observed following treatment with EGFR-targeted agents, Scagliotti notes, though more with afatinib than erlotinib or gefitinib. With all of these agents though, patients are still experiencing a survival advantage.

Clinical Pearls

  • Pain and other toxicities in patients with lung cancer vary from patient to patient, but patients who undergo major surgery experience more symptoms
  • Molecularly-targeted therapy studies with a quality of life assessment nested into the main study have enabled disease-related symptoms to vastly improve
  • Skin and GI toxicities have been observed following treatment with EGFR-targeted agents, though more with afatinib than erlotinib or gefitinib
  • Patients being treated with EGFR-targeted agents are still experiencing a survival advantage despite an increase in toxicity