The effect of prolonged cycles of chemotherapy on quality of life in gynaecologic cancer patients.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to determine if the prescription of prolonged cycles of chemotherapy to patients with a variety of gynaecologic cancers has an adverse effect on quality of life (QOL). METHODS Patients attending a single gynaecologic oncology clinic who received greater than 6 cycles of chemotherapy were identified. Prior to each chemotherapy cycle, patients were asked to complete a modified Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) quality of life form. QOL scores were compared to their baseline or pretreatment score (cycle 1 score), as well as to their score representing the completion of primary therapy (cycle 6 score). RESULTS Seventeen patients were identified as having received greater than 6 cycles of systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy. The total number of chemotherapy cycles analyzed was 95. Comparing QOL scores for cycle 1 and 6 to cycles 7-16, we found no significant alteration (improvement or deterioration) in the following subscale scores: physical well being (PWB), social well being (SWB), and functional well being (FWB). Similarly, overall QOL as represented by the summed individual scores was also not affected by the prescription of up to 16 cycles of chemotherapy. Analysis of the emotional well being (EWB) subscale scores revealed a significant downward trend after the 12th cycle of therapy as compared to the 6th cycle (p = 0.04), however this trend was not significant when compared to the pretreatment or cycle 1 scores (p = 0.16). There was however a statistically significant progressive deterioration in the subscale score of the relationship with the doctor (RWD). This was most marked after the 10th cycle of therapy (p < 0.0001). When split by disease status, we again found no statistically significant alteration in PWB, SWB, RWD, EWB, FWB and overall QOL for cycle 1 and 6 as compared to cycles 7-17. However, those patients who were able to attain a complete clinical response (CCR) disease status, achieved a higher SWB (p = 0.003), RWD (p = 0.02), EWB (p = 0.03), and overall QOL scores (p = 0.04) while their PWB scores were not statistically different from patients with stable (p = 0.7) or progressive disease (p = 0.6). CONCLUSION In conclusion, the prescription of prolonged cycles of chemotherapy to patients with gynaecologic cancers does not result in an overall deterioration of QOL. Further more an improvement in subscale and overall QOL was demonstrated in those patients able to attain a complete clinical response (CCR).

Cite this paper

@article{Carter1997TheEO, title={The effect of prolonged cycles of chemotherapy on quality of life in gynaecologic cancer patients.}, author={Jason R Carter and Meichu D Chen and Jeffrey M. Fowler and Linda Carson and Leo B. Twiggs}, journal={The journal of obstetrics and gynaecology research}, year={1997}, volume={23 2}, pages={197-203} }