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01.03.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2018

Supportive Care in Cancer 3/2018

Utility of the revised Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS-r) and the Patient-Reported Functional Status (PRFS) in lung cancer patients

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 3/2018
M. N. Yogananda, Valliappan Muthu, Kuruswamy Thurai Prasad, Adarsh Kohli, Digambar Behera, Navneet Singh
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00520-017-3887-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Symptom palliation is an important objective of treatment in advanced/metastatic lung cancer (LC). Significant psychological, minor physical symptoms and several social/emotional issues often go unnoticed. This prospective study aimed to evaluate utility of patients’ perspectives [self-reported symptom assessment by revised Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS-r) and self-reported functional status by Patient-Reported Functional Status (PRFS)] amongst LC patients undergoing chemotherapy.


Consecutive newly diagnosed treatment-naïve LC patients attending a tertiary referral center in North India from January 2014 to March 2015 were included. All patients received standard histology-guided platinum-doublet chemotherapy. ESAS-r and PRFS questionnaires were administered under guidance, once at the time of initial assessment/diagnosis, repeated at start of chemotherapy, before C4, and after completion of chemotherapy (end of chemotherapy (EOCTx)). Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) questionnaire was also administered. Baseline and post-treatment scores were compared.


Majority of 133 patients enrolled were males (86.5%,n = 115), were current/ex-smokers (81.2%, n = 108), had advanced stage [IIIB = 30.1% (n = 40), IV = 52.6% (n = 70)], and were of non-small-cell type (NSCLC;84.2%,n = 112). On baseline ESAS-r, the highest mean symptom scores were observed for tiredness followed by anorexia. Mean ESAS-r scores before C4 as well as at EOCTX were significantly better than baseline ESAS-r scores in all its components except nausea. Similarly, PRFS before C4 and EOCTx was significantly improved compared to baseline. However, Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status assessed at baseline did not show significant improvement at treatment completion. FACT-L score at EOCTx showed significant improvement from baseline in physical and functional well-being domains but not for social/family and emotional well-being domains.


This study validated utility of ESAS-r and PRFS in Indian LC patients. These instruments should be used in routine clinical practice besides physicians’ assessment of PS (KPS/ECOG).

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