Longitudinal patterns in fear of cancer progression in patients with rare, advanced cancers undergoing comprehensive tumour genomic profiling

PiGeOn Project, Phyllis Butow*, Fabiola Müller, Christine E Napier, Nicci Bartley MEval, Mandy L Ballinger, Barbara Biesecker, Ilona Juraskova, Bettina Meiser, Timothy E Schlub, David M Thomas, David Goldstein, Megan C Best

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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INTRODUCTION: Fear of cancer progression (FCP) impacts quality of life and is a prevalent unmet need in patients diagnosed with advanced cancer, particularly as treatment options are reduced. We aimed to identify longitudinal patterns in FCP over six months in patients with advanced cancer receiving comprehensive tumour genomic profiling (CTGP) results, and their correlates.

METHODS: Patients with pathologically confirmed metastatic disease (∼70% rare cancers) receiving or post their last line of standard therapy completed questionnaires at T0 (prior to CTGP), T1 (immediately post CTGP results) and T2 (two months later).

RESULTS: High stable (N=52; 7.3%) and low/moderate stable (N=56; 7.8%) FCP patterns over time typified the largest participant groups (N=721). Those with an immediately actionable variant versus a non-actionable variant (p=.045), with higher FCP (p<.001), and lower Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Spiritual Well-being (FACIT-Sp) scores (p=.006) at T0, had higher FCP at T1. Those with higher FCP at T0 (p<.001) and at T1 (p<.001), lower FACIT-Sp scores at T1 (p=.001), lower education (p=.031) and female gender (p=.027) had higher FCP at T2.

DISCUSSION: Routine screening for psychological/spiritual characteristics in those about to undergo CTGP may help to identify patients who may benefit from closer monitoring and provision of psychosocial support. Future studies should explore interventions to best address FCP in this vulnerable group, as interventions assessed to date have almost all addressed patients with curative cancers or newly diagnosed advanced disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1920-1929
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Early online date8-Jul-2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2021
Externally publishedYes

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