Full validation of the EORTC CAT Core

Brussels, 6 June 2023 – Following almost 20 years of collaboration between leading researchers in quality of life and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), we are proud to announce the full validation of the EORTC Computerised Adaptive Test (CAT) Core.

Following the international scientific validation of the EORTC CAT Core in 2020, the software supporting its use is now fully developed and validated, allowing for the public use of the EORTC CAT Core in research projects, clinical practice and clinical trials. The thorough testing and external review of this new IT system ensures that the EORTC CAT Core is compliant with the latest standards in terms of data protection, cybersecurity and stability, allowing it to be used by any research organisation around the world.

What is the EORTC Computerised Adaptive Test (CAT) Core?

One of the most used patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for the assessment of quality of life in oncology is the EORTC QLQ-C30. Like all quality of life legacy measures, the QLQ-C30 is a static questionnaire. This means that all patients receive the same set of questions in the same order, which allows comparability of results across patients.

In contrast, the EORTC CAT Core tailors the questionnaire to the individual patient without compromising comparability across patients. CATs are dynamically administered, computer-based questionnaires. They select in real-time the next question based on the responses provided to prior questions, tailoring the assessment to the patients’ needs. This allows for a more precise and efficient assessment of quality of life than static questionnaires and lowers burden through the selection of questions which are the most relevant to the individual patient.

About the project

The EORTC Quality of Life Group (QLG), through the leadership of Prof. Mogens Grønvold and Morten Aa. Petersen (Palliative Care Research Unit, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine GP, Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), has taken a central role in the development of this project.

The EORTC CAT Core covers 14 functional and symptom domains of the EORTC QLQ-C30. For each domain there is a corresponding item bank which ranges between 7 and 34 questions. The item banks include altogether a total of 260 questions.

Prof. Mogens Grønvold highlights the robustness of this new tool, pointing out that, “The development and implementation of the EORTC CAT Core has been thoroughly detailed through more than 20 publications1,2 and we look forward to facilitating its use with upcoming publications providing guidance for users. It is also important to mention that the software enabling the functioning of the EORTC CAT Core is now fully validated and available at the EORTC Headquarters for clinical use. It can be linked to any electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) system allowing for full adaptability of this tool to any study IT requirements.

The completion of this project is a significant step for the research on the quality of life of cancer patients”, adds Morten Aa. Petersen, “With the EORTC CAT Core, we are now looking at a fully dynamic form of the questionnaire, which will truly adapt to each individual respondent, putting their experience at the forefront.

More information about the EORTC CAT Core is available on the EORTC Quality of Life Group website here.


The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, which unites clinical cancer research experts, throughout Europe, to define better treatments for cancer patients to prolong survival and improve quality of life. Spanning from translational to large, prospective, multi-centre, phase III clinical trials that evaluate new therapies and treatment strategies as well as patient quality of life, its activities are coordinated from EORTC Headquarters, a unique international clinical research infrastructure, based in Brussels, Belgium.

About the Quality of Life Group

The Quality of Life Group (QLG) strives to improve health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of cancer patients, through dedicated research and the use of HRQoL measures within cancer clinical trials and clinical practice. HRQoL constitutes an important aspect of cancer research and care: it gives a voice to patients, putting their experience at the forefront. The QLG is part of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).
For further information, please visit the QLG website.


Caroline Hance (EORTC QLG)
Strategic Lead Communication

1 Petersen, M. A., Aaronson, N. K., Conroy, T., Costantini, A., Giesinger, J. M., Hammerlid, E., … & Groenvold, M. (2020). International validation of the EORTC CAT Core – A new adaptive instrument for measuring core quality of life domains in cancer. Quality of Life Research, 29(5), 1405–1417.
2 Petersen, M. A., Vachon, H., & Groenvold, M. (2023). Development of a diverse set of standard short forms based on the EORTC CAT Core item banks. Quality of Life Research, 1-9.

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