Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate chemotherapy patterns and changes in quality of life (QOL) during first-line palliative chemotherapy for Korean patients with unresectable or metastatic/recurrent gastric cancer (GC).
Materials and Methods: This was a non-interventional, multi-center, prospective, observational study of 527 patients in Korea. QOL assessments were conducted using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaires (QLQ)-C30 and QLQ-STO22 every 3 months over a 12-month period during first-line palliative chemotherapy. The specific chemotherapy regimens were selected by individual clinicians.
Results: Most patients (93.2%) received combination chemotherapy (mainly fluoropyrimidine plus platinum) as their first-line palliative chemotherapy. The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 8.2 and 14.8 months, respectively. Overall, “a little” changes (differences of 5-10 points from baseline) were observed in some of the functioning or symptom scales; none of the QOL scales showed either “moderate” or “very much” change (i.e., = 11 point difference from baseline). When examining the best change in each QOL domain from baseline, scales related to some aspects of functioning, global health status/QOL, and most symptoms revealed significant improvements (p < 0.05). Throughout the course of first-line palliative chemotherapy, most patients’ QOL was maintained to a similar degree, regardless of their actual response to chemotherapy.
Conclusion: This observational study provides important information on the chemotherapy patterns and QOL changes in Korean patients with advanced GC. Overall, first-line palliative chemotherapy was found to maintain QOL, and most parameters showed an improvement compared with the baseline at some point during the course.
Background: Older patients have increased risk of toxicity from chemotherapy. Current prediction tools do not provide information on cumulative risk.
Methods: Patients aged = 70 years with solid cancer were prospectively enrolled. A prediction model was developed for adverse events (AEs) = Grade 3 (G3), based on geriatric assessment (GA), laboratory, and clinical variables.
Results: 301 patients were enrolled (median age, 75 years). Median number of chemotherapy cycles was 4. During first-line chemotherapy, 53.8% of patients experienced AEs = G3. Serum protein < 6.7 g/dL, initial full-dose chemotherapy, psychological stress or acute disease in the past 3 months, water consumption < 3 cups/day, unable to obey a simple command, and self-perception of poor health were significantly related with AEs = G3. A predicting model with these six variables ranging 0–8 points was selected with the highest discriminatory ability (c-statistic= 0.646), which could classify patients into four risk groups. Predicted cumulative incidence of AEs = G3 was discriminated according to risk groups.
Conclusions: This prediction tool could identify the risk of AEs = G3 after chemotherapy and provide information on the cumulative incidence of AEs in each cycle.
Clinical Trial Id WHO ICTRP number, KCT0001071
PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of caregivers' role preference in decision making on conflicts and psychiatric distresses.
METHODS: The responses of 406 caregivers of terminal cancer patients enrolled in a trial determining the efficacy of a decision aid focused on the disclosure of terminal disease status were included in this secondary analysis. The outcomes include the change scores of the Decision Conflict Scale (DCS) and depression and anxiety subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at the 1 and 3 months from baseline. The linear mixed model was employed to discover the impact of caregivers' decisional role preference on the outcomes.
FINDINGS: Of the 406, 137 (33.7%) showed an active role preference and 269 (66.3%) showed a passive role preference. In the post hoc analysis of the adjusted differences of change scores between passive caregivers who received decision aid (passive-decision aid) and active caregivers with decision aid (active-decision aid), non-significant differences were observed in the DCS. However, at the 3-month, the change scores of the HADS depression subscale increased by 4.43 (effect size, 0.71) and those of the HADS anxiety subscale increased by 4.14 (effect size, 0.61) in the passive-decision aid group than in active-decision aid group, showing moderate to large difference.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that information might be ethically recommended in a format that is interactive and tailored to how much an individual wishes to be involved in the decision-making process.
PURPOSE: The authors tested whether a decision aid explaining how to discuss the approach of death with a family member with cancer would help family caregivers decide to discuss a terminal prognosis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The authors randomly assigned caregivers of terminally ill patients with cancer to a group that received a video and a companion workbook that showed either how they can discuss the prognosis with their patient (experimental arm) or how cancer pain can be controlled (control arm). At baseline and 1 month, they evaluated the decision to discuss terminal prognosis as the primary outcome. At 0, 1, 3, and 6 months, we assessed the caregivers' decisional conflict and satisfaction as secondary outcomes using a Decision Conflict Scale (DCS).
RESULTS: They found no difference in changes in the decision to discuss terminal prognosis between the two groups. Conflict (P = .003), uncertainty (P = .019), and value clarity (P = .007) subscale scores and total DCS score (P = .008) improved from baseline to 1 month significantly more in the experimental arm than in the control arm. Over 6 months, the significant between-group differences continued for the conflict (P = .031), uncertainty (P = .014), and value clarity (P = .039) subscale scores and total DCS score (P = .040).
CONCLUSION: Decision aids can help caregivers, with the aid of trained professionals, to communicate with patients about their terminal illness.