Management of Patients With Lung Cancer and Poor Performance Status

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Patients who are able to care for themselves but are unable to perform most work-related activities are considered to have a poor performance status (PS). Individuals who fulfill these criteria constitute a significant proportion of all patients with lung cancer. Patients with lung cancer and a poor PS, irrespective of age, have an increased incidence of adverse effects with therapy and poorer outcomes. Thus, although these individuals must be treated differently, data on optimal approaches for these patients are lacking, because this cohort is underrepresented in conventional clinical trials due to enrollment restrictions. This article presents the available evidence on the treatment of this group of patients with lung cancer. Although patients with PS 2 have worse overall outcomes than those with good PS, a selected proportion may still benefit from standard therapy. Further trials are needed to identify optimal strategies to treat this group of patients with lung cancer.

Correspondence: Apar Kishor Ganti, MD, MS, Division of Oncology-Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 987680 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-7680. E-mail: aganti@unmc.edu

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