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Prognostic value of health-related quality of life for survival for 11 types of cancer pointed out by EORTC study

Results of an EORTC study published in Cancer point out the prognostic value of baseline recorded health-related quality of life for survival for eleven types of cancer: brain, breast, colorectal, esophageal, head and neck, lung, melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and testicular cancer. For each cancer site, at least one health-related quality of life parameter provided additional prognostic information over and above the clinical and sociodemographic variables.

Dr. Andrew Bottomley, EORTC Headquarters Associate Director says, “This study utilized a single standardized and validated patient self-assessment tool, the EORTC Core Quality of Life Questionnaire, or the QLQ-C30 for short. We selected thirty EORTC randomized controlled trials which involved eleven different cancer sites for this study. This effort included questionnaires completed by 7417 patients prior to their being randomized into one of these studies.”

The health-related quality of life parameters that were found to be predictive for survival were: cognitive functioning for brain cancer; physical functioning, emotional functioning, global health status, and nausea and vomiting for breast cancer; physical functioning, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss for colorectal cancer; physical functioning and social functioning for esophageal cancer; emotional functioning, nausea and vomiting, and dyspnea for head and neck cancer; physical functioning and pain for lung cancer; physical functioning for melanoma; nausea and vomiting for ovarian cancer; global health status for pancreatic cancer; role functioning and appetite loss for prostate cancer; role functioning for testicular cancer.

Models were adjusted for age, sex, and World Health Organization performance status and were stratified by distant metastasis. For each cancer type, univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to assess the prognostic value (P<.05) of 15 health-related quality of life parameters for each cancer site.

This EORTC research was supported by an unrestricted grant from the Pfizer Foundation, the EORTC Charitable Trust, and by the United States of America National Cancer Institute. One of the authors, Divine E. Ediebah was supported by a Belgian Cancer Foundation Grant.

John Bean, PhD
EORTC Medical Science Writer

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