The prognostic effect of weight loss prior to chemotherapy was analyzedusing data from 3,047 patients enrolled in 12 chemotherapy protocols of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. The frequency of weight loss ranged from 31 percent for favorable non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to 87 percent in gastric cancer. Median survival was significantly shorter in nine protocols for the patients with weight loss compared to the patients with no weight loss. Chemotherapy response rates were lower in the patients with weight loss, but only in patients with breast cancer was this difference significant. Decreasing weight was correlated with decreasing performance status except for patients with pancreatic and gastric cancer. Within performance status categories, weight loss was associated with decreased median survival. The frequency of weight loss increased with increasing number of anatomic sites involved with metastases, but within categories of anatomic involvement, weight loss was associated with decreased median survival. These observations emphasize the prognostic effect of weight loss, especially in patients with a favorable performance status or a limited anatomic involvement with tumor.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
WILLIAM D. DEWYS, M.D. COLIN BEGG, Ph.D. PHILIP T. LAVIN, Ph.D. PIERRE R. BAND, M.D. JOHN M. BENNETT, M.D. JOSEPH R. BERTINO, M.D. MARTIN H. COHEN, M.D. HAROLD O. DOUGLASS, Jr., M.D. PAUL F. ENGSTROM, M.D. EDIZ-Z. EZDINLI, M.D. JOHN HORTON, M.D. GERHARD J. JOHNSON, M.D. CHARLES G. MOERTEL, M.D. MARTIN M. OKEN, M.D. CHARLES PERLIA, M.D. CHARLES ROSENBAUM, M.D. MURRAY N. SILVERSTEIN, M.D. ROLAND T. SKEEL, M.D. .:ROBERT W. SPONZO, M.D. DOUGLASS C. TORMEY, M.D. Eastern Cooperative Oneology Group* * The Eastern Cooperative Oncol0gy Group operations office is supported by Grant CA 21115 from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Institutional affiliations of the participants of this study, which was conducted by the Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group (Paul P. Carbone, chairman), are listed at the end of the article. This study was supported by Public Health Service grants from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. William D. DeWys, National Cancer Institute, Landow Building, Room 8C17, Bethesda, Maryland 20205. Manuscript accepted May 5, 1980.