The prognostic value of health-related quality-of-life data in predicting survival in glioblastoma cancer patients: results from an international randomised phase III EORTC Brain Tumour and Radiation Oncology Groups, and NCIC Clinical Trials Group study
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This is one of the few studies that have explored the value of baseline symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in predicting survival in brain cancer patients. Baseline HRQOL scores (from the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the Brain Cancer Module (BN 20)) were examined in 490 newly diagnosed glioblastoma cancer patients for the relationship with overall survival by using Cox proportional hazards regression models. Refined techniques as the bootstrap re-sampling procedure and the computation of C-indexes and R(2)-coefficients were used to try and validate the model. Classical analysis controlled for major clinical prognostic factors selected cognitive functioning (P=0.0001), global health status (P=0.0055) and social functioning (P<0.0001) as statistically significant prognostic factors of survival. However, several issues question the validity of these findings. C-indexes and R(2)-coefficients, which are measures of the predictive ability of the models, did not exhibit major improvements when adding selected or all HRQOL scores to clinical factors. While classical techniques lead to positive results, more refined analyses suggest that baseline HRQOL scores add relatively little to clinical factors to predict survival. These results may have implications for future use of HRQOL as a prognostic factor in cancer patients.
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