Increasing weight during treatment may indicate early clinical benefit in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to the results of a study published in the Annals of Oncology.

Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of three international phase III studies of 2,301 patients with advanced, nonsquamous NSCLC who received platinum-based, first-line doublet treatment with or without bevacizumab and maintenance therapy. They found that 421 patients had more than 5% weight gain after baseline, more than half of whom experienced the initial weight gain by three weeks. 

Median overall survival was 16.7 months for patients who had weight gain versus 10.7 months for those who gained less than 5%. Progression-free survival was 6.9 months in the weight gain group compared to 4.8 months. The researchers also found significant differences in overall tumor response and disease control rates. 

The authors suggested that monitoring weight change may predict survival outcomes in NSCLC and may offer ideas for new treatment strategies.