Health-Related QoL an Important Factor When Selecting Sarcoma Treatment

Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and its impact on disease progression should be a critical consideration when selecting treatment for patients with soft-tissue sarcoma (STS), according to a study presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL (June 3-7, 2016).

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STS is a very rare form of cancer, with only about 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 persons; however, it is associated with a poor prognosis. Most patients diagnosed with STS have a median survival time of less than 12 months and only a small subgroup of these patients achieve long-term survival.

In a clinical trial led by Stacie Hudgens, managing partner of Clinical Outcomes in Tuscan, Arizona, investigators randomly assigned 452 patients with STS to receive either eribulin or dacarbazine to compare treatment-related differences in HRQoL.  Of these, 400 patients with progressive disease were included in the evaluation presented at ASCO.

HRQoL was defined using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30, with any change greater than 10-points considered meaningful. Statistical analyses models were also used to verify and support trial results.

Overall, baseline QoL scores were equivalent in both treatment arms. However, compared with the eribulin treatment arm, patients receiving dacarbazine had significantly lower global health status (56.1 vs 62.1) and physical function (63.9 vs 73.3). The dacarbazine group was also associated with worse nausea or vomiting and appetite loss.

“Overall, results indicate significant difference in health-related QoL between [dacarbazine] and eribulin, with notably higher increases in symptom severity in fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss,” concluded Ms Hudgens. “These results suggest that health-related QoL is a relevant consideration when selecting therapies among patients with advanced STS.”

Paolo G. Casali, MD, a member of ASCO and professor of medicine at the University of Milan in Italy, added that results may go a long way in accomplishing provider goals of making patients live longer and do better on treatment by providing them with more information to inform decision making.  

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