Balancing benefits and risks in lung cancer therapies: patient preferences for lung cancer treatment alternatives

Serena Oliveri, Lucilla Lanzoni, Jorien Veldwijk, G. Ardine de Wit, Serena Petrocchi, Rosanne Janssens, Elise Schoefs, Meredith Y. Smith, Ian Smith, Kristiaan Nackaerts, Marie Vandevelde, Evelyne Louis, Herbert Decaluwé, Paul De Leyn, Hanne Declerck, Francesco Petrella, Monica Casiraghi, Giulia Galli, Marina Chiara Garassino, Charis GirvalakiIsabelle Huys, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) the combination of Immuno- Oncotherapy (IO) and chemotherapy (CT) has been found to be superior to IO or CT alone for patients’ survival. Patients and clinicians are confronted with a preference sensitive choice between a more aggressive treatment with a greater negative effect on quality of life versus alternatives that are less effective but have fewer side effects. Objectives: The aims of this study were to: (a) quantify patients’ preferences for relevant attributes related to Immuno-Oncotherapy treatment alternatives, and (b) evaluate the maximum acceptable risk (MAR)/Minimum acceptable benefit (MAB) that patients would accept for treatment alternatives. Methods: An online preference survey using discrete-choice experiment (DCE) was completed by NSCLC patients from two hospitals in Italy and Belgium. The survey asked patients’ preferences for five patient- relevant treatment attributes. The DCE was developed using a Bayesian D-efficient design. DCE analyses were performed using mixed logit models. Information regarding patient demographics, health literacy, locus of control, and quality of life was also collected. Results: 307 patients (158 Italian, 149 Belgian), stage I to IV, completed the survey. Patients preferred treatments with a higher 5-year survival chance as the most important attribute over all the other attributes. Preference heterogeneity for the attribute weights depended on health literacy, patients’ age and locus of control. Patients were willing to accept a substantially increased risks of developing side effects in exchange for the slightest increase (1%) in the chance of surviving at least 5 years from the diagnosis of cancer. Similarly, patients were willing to accept a switch in the mode of administration or complete loss of hair to obtain an increase in survival. Conclusion: In this study, the proportion of respondents who systematically preferred survival over all other treatment attributes was particularly high. Age, objective health literacy and locus of control accounted for heterogeneity in patients’ preferences. Evidence on how NSCLC patients trade between survival and other NSCLC attributes can support regulators and other stakeholders on assessing clinical trial evidence and protocols, based on patients’ conditions and socio-demographic parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1062830
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • discrete-choice experiment
  • maximum acceptable risk
  • minimum acceptable benefit
  • mixed logit model
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • patient preference


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