Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Eric J. Roeland, MD, on Weight Gain and Overall Survival in Patients Treated for NSCLC

Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2022

Eric J. Roeland, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University, Knight Cancer Institute, discusses study results showing that weight gain during treatment of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving first-line chemotherapy was associated with a reduced risk of death in both men and women, independent of smoking status.


Disclaimer: This video transcript has not been proofread or edited and may contain errors.

We often talk about weight loss, especially as it relates to a metabolic syndrome called cachexia. Cachexia is a hyper metabolic syndrome in which patients with cancer lose weight, skeletal muscle, physical function, decreased quality of life, increased related treatment toxicity, and even worse survival. And as we think about the future and our interventions to treat cancer cachexia, we need to understand how weight changes over time. And so in this study, we looked at three randomized controlled trials at the control arm of each of those studies and studies ranging from 2005 to 2011. And with over a thousand patients, we were able to measure weight change over time. We were able to categorize patients into three weight gain categories, any weight gain, more than 2.5%, and more than 5%. And what we learned is across all these weight gain categories, patients who gained any weight did better, lived longer. And when we looked at any weight gain versus 2.5 versus 5%, those changes were meaningful across all those cutoff values when we looked at time period of four and a half months. We were limited a little bit by the fact that we had about 700 men and 300 women in this study. And when we looked specifically at women and their change over time, we didn't have enough numbers for the 5% cutoff value. But as we look towards the future and we realize that we have new promising interventions for cancer cachexia, it's important for us to realize what's a meaningful cutoff value in terms of weight gain. And I think we can safely say that any weight gain or 2.5% weight gain or baseline is clinically significant. One of the major questions that we had in presenting this data was, are there any differences between men and women in terms of how they gain weight over time while they're receiving treatment for their non-small cell lung cancer? And what we realized is that there really is no difference between the two. However, men categorically do worse than women. But in terms of weight gain, we didn't see any differences.

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