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13.12.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2019

Supportive Care in Cancer 4/2019

Undiagnosed cardiac deficits in non-small cell carcinoma patients in the candidate population for anti-cachexia clinical trials

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 4/2019
Seyyed Mohammad Reza Kazemi-Bajestani, Harald Becher, Charles Butts, Naveen S. Basappa, Michael Smylie, Anil Abraham Joy, Randeep Sangha, Andrea Gallivan, Quincy Chu, Vickie E. Baracos
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Currently, there is no approved therapy for cancer cachexia. According to European and American regulatory agencies, physical function improvements would be approvable co-primary endpoints of new anti-cachexia medications. As physical functioning is in part dependent on cardiac functioning, we aimed to explore the cardiac status of a group of patients meeting current criteria for inclusion in cachexia clinical trials.


Seventy treatment-naive patients with metastatic NSCLC [36 (51.4%) male; 96% ECOG 0–1; eligible for carboplatin-based therapy and meeting eligibility criteria for cachexia clinical trials] were recruited before the start of first-line carboplatin-based chemotherapy. Patients were evaluated by echocardiography, electrocardiography, and scales for fatigue and dyspnea. Computed tomography cross-sectional images were utilized for body composition analysis.


In 9/70 patients (12.8%), echocardiography allowed discovery of clinically relevant cardiac disorders [seven patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 32%–47%; one patient with severe right ventricular dilation and severe pulmonary hypertension and one patient with severe pericardial effusion warranted hospitalization and drainage]. Another 10/70 (14.3%) patients had diastolic dysfunction with preserved LVEF. The cardiac conditions were associated with aggravated fatigue (p < 0.05), dyspnea (p < 0.05), and anemia (p = 0.06). Five out of seven patients with LVEF < 50% were sarcopenic and one was borderline sarcopenic.


Baseline cardiac status of the metastatic NSCLC patients adds potential heterogeneity for anti-cachexia clinical trials. Detailed cardiac screening data might be useful for inclusion/exclusion criteria, randomization, and post hoc analysis.

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