Weight gain during treatment may be an early indicator of clinical benefit in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published in Annals of Oncology.1

Researchers led by Jyoti Patel, MD, of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, conducted a retrospective analysis of 3 international phase 3 studies that included 2301 advanced, non-squamous NSCLC patients who received platinum-based, first-line doublet treatment with or without bevacizumab and maintenance therapy.

They recorded body weight before and after treatment by each study’s schedule, and the relationship between weight gain and overall survival and progression-free survival was assessed through log-rank test and adjusted Cox modeling.

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The researchers found that 421 patients had more than 5% weight gain after baseline, and more than half of those patients exhibited initial weight gain by 3 weeks.

Median overall survival was found to be 16.7 months for patients who experienced 5% weight gain vs 10.7 months for those who gained 5% or less. Progression-free survival was found to be 6.9 months for the greater than 5% weight gain group and 4.8 months for those with 5% weight gain or less.

Additionally, there were significant differences in overall tumor response rate and disease control rate.

Upon Cox modeling, the greater than 5% subgroup had longer survival than the less than 5% subgroup upon adjusting for baseline factors.

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“If confirmed in prospective studies, monitoring weight change may provide important information regarding survival outcomes in NSCLC and may provide ideas for new therapeutic strategies,” the authors concluded.


  1. Patel JD, Pereira JR, Chen J, et al. Relationship between Efficacy Outcomes and Weight Gain during Treatment of Advanced, Nonsquamous, Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Patients. [published online ahead of print May 23, 2016.] Ann Oncol. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdw211.