A screening questionnaire for lung cancer patients could improve treatment plans and clinical outcomes.
This is the conclusion of a team of researchers from the United Kingdom.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that often forms in the lungs of affected patients. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, usually in the work environment. It takes a long time for mesothelioma symptoms for appear. Because of this, most mesothelioma patients are elderly.
Introducing the G8 Questionnaire
The G8 questionnaire is a geriatric screening tool for doctors to use when choosing treatment options for patients with cancer. It takes up to five minutes for a doctor to complete the questionnaire. It includes eight questions and provides a score between zero and 17.
A G8 score of 14 or higher is considered “normal”. A score of 13 or lower is considered “abnormal”. Higher scores mean a patient is healthy enough to receive more intensive treatment. Lower scores mean a patient may be too frail for intensive treatment.
The results of the G8 questionnaire could help a doctor make better treatment decisions with their patient. The authors of this study investigated treatment decisions and outcomes from 201 patients. They wanted to find out if the G8 questionnaire led to treatments that improved survival.
The patients in this study had non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, or mesothelioma.
Does Well Does it Work?
About 10% of patients’ treatment plans were changed after their doctors used the G8 questionnaire. Patients with high G8 scores received higher chemotherapy intensity than patients with intermediate or low G8 scores.
Patients with normal G8 scores survived about six months longer than patients with abnormal G8 scores.
The results of this study show that the G8 questionnaire can be a helpful tool for doctors treating patients with mesothelioma. They can use it to design more effective treatment plans for their patients. This is important for an aggressive cancer like mesothelioma.
Wu X, Kumar R, Milner-Watts C, et al. The Predictive Value of the G8 Questionnaire in Older Patients with Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma before Systemic Treatment [published online ahead of print, 2022 Nov 17]. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2022;S0936-6555(22)00515-5. doi:10.1016/j.clon.2022.10.020