Clinical Research Papers:

The distress thermometer as a predictor for survival in stage III lung cancer patients treated with chemotherapy

Mark de Mol, Brenda L. den Oudsten, Mieke Aarts and Joachim G.J.V. Aerts _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:36743-36749. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14151

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Mark de Mol1,2, Brenda L. den Oudsten3, Mieke Aarts4 and Joachim G.J.V. Aerts1,2

1Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Amphia Hospital, Breda, The Netherlands

3Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Centre of Research on Psychological and Somatic Disorders (CoRPS), Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

4Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL), Utrecht, The Netherlands

Correspondence to:

Joachim G.J.V. Aerts, email: [email protected]

Keywords: distress thermometer, health related quality of life, survival, cancer, chemotherapy

Received: June 29, 2016    Accepted: November 14, 2016    Published: December 24, 2016


Background: Depression and Health Related Quality of Life have been associated with prognosis in lung cancer. As the Distress Thermometer measures emotional problems and may share similarities with aspects of Health Related Quality of Life, we aimed to retrospectively assess the prognostic value of the Distress Thermometer in lung cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.

Methods: Patients with stage III lung cancer who were treated at the day-care oncology unit with chemotherapy containing carboplatin from 2009 to 2014 and in whom a Distress Thermometer was performed at the time of the first cycle of chemotherapy were included in this study.

Results: In total, one hundred and thirteen patients were included in the analysis. In the simple Cox regression analysis, overall survival did not significantly differ according to Distress Thermometer score. No significant differences in Distress Thermometer score according to stage, histology, (intended) treatment, age, sex, and comorbidity were observed. Also in a multivariable model the Distress Thermometer was not prognostic for overall survival, whereas sex and (intended) treatment was.

Conclusions: In this study no prognostic value of the Distress Thermometer could be established in patients with stage III lung cancer treated with carboplatin. Further research is warranted to address this issue.

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