Normative data and trends in quality of life from the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS)

Patricia J. Hollen, Richard J. Gralla, Mark G. Kris, Shirley W. Eberly, Christopher Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Normative data and trends for a disease- and site-specific quality of life (QL) instrument for individuals with lung cancer, the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS), are presented to facilitate the user's interpretation of test scores. Data for patients enrolled in two large, identical, randomized trials of a new combination chemotherapy regimen for patients with stages III and IV non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were combined into one dataset (n=673). For these patients with a Karnofsky performance status (KPS) of 60-100%, QL had been prospectively measured at baseline, day 29 and every 6 weeks thereafter. Descriptive statistics for the LCSS are presented for three time points (baseline, day 29 and day 71) and for specific demographic and disease-related characteristics (age, gender, race, performance status and stage of disease) to provide expected values and their variability during chemotherapy. Data from a small dataset of 63 NSCLC inpatients with KPS scores of 20-50% are also presented for a comparison sample of supportive care for inpatients and hospice patients. For the 673 NSCLC patients at baseline there were no significant differences in QL by age, gender, or race. Major presenting lung cancer symptoms at baseline for this combined sample were dyspnea 87%, cough 86%, pain 81%, loss of appetite 75%, and hemoptysis 41%. Of these patients, 81% had three or more presenting symptoms at baseline (2% had no symptoms; 5%, one symptom; 12%, two symptoms; 18%, three symptoms; 27%, four symptoms; and 36%, five symptoms). The mean LCSS baseline score (best = 0; worst = 100) was 26.56 (SD 16.10). The mean scores for day 29 and day 71 were 25.46 (SD 16.52) and 25.30 (SD 16.93), respectively, but follow- up assessments on progressers were not obtained. Stage III patients had a mean LCSS score of 23.7 (SD 15.1), whereas stage IV patients reported a mean LCSS score of 27.3 (SD 16.3). The mean LCSS score for the group with KPS 60- 70% was 34.8 (SD 15.5), and that for the group with KPS 80-100% was 23.3 (SD 15.1). The mean LCSS score for the lower performance group, with KPS scores of 20-50% at baseline, was 46.85 (SD 17.65).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Lung
  • Lung Cancer Symptom Scale
  • Norms
  • Quality of life trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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