It remains unclear whether any aspect of quality of life has a role in predicting survival in an unselected cohort of patients with gastro-esophageal cancer.
Dr McKernan and colleagues from the United Kingdom examined the relationship between quality of life, clinico-pathological characteristics and survival in patients with gastro-esophageal cancer.
|Appetite loss was significantly associated with cancer-specific survival|
|The British Journal of Cancer|
The team assessed 152 patients presenting with gastric or esophageal cancer, staged using the UICC tumour node metastasis classification.
Patients had received either potentially curative surgery or palliative treatment between 1997 and 2002.
The research team used the EORTC QLQ-C30 core questionnaire, which measures the quality of life of cancer patients.
The team found on univariate analysis that age, tumor length, tumor node metastasis stage, and weight loss were significantly associated with cancer-specific survival.
Dysphagia score, performance status and treatment were also significantly associated with cancer-specific survival.
Cancer-specific survival was further associated with EORTC QLQ-C30, physical-, role-, cognitive- and social functioning, global quality of life, and fatigue.
In addition, nausea/vomiting, pain, dyspnea, appetite loss, and constipation were significantly associated with cancer-specific survival.
The team found on multivariate survival analysis, that tumor stage, treatment and appetite loss were significant independent predictors of cancer-specific survival.
Dr McKernan's team concluded, "The present study highlights the importance of quality of life measures, in particular appetite loss, as a prognostic factor in these patients."