Quality of life versus prolongation of life in patients treated with chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer: A review of randomized controlled clinical trials

SJ de Kort*, PHB Willemse, JM Habraken, HCJM de Haes, DL Willems, DJ Richel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Oncologists disagree if chemotherapy in advanced cancer can improve quality of life (QoL), to prolong duration of life, or both. The objective of this study was to clarify the main treatment intention of palliative chemotherapy (PCT): the prolongation of life (PoL); or QoL. Randomized controlled clinical trials of PCT in advanced colorectal cancer that included HRQoL assessment were selected from PubMed and reviewed. Authors' conclusions were based on both PoL- and QoL-related outcomes. However, if PoL and QoL outcomes of the experimental arm were opposite, which was the case in 13 out of 28 trials, the authors generally based their conclusion on PoL outcomes. Authors' conclusions focused mainly on Pol.-related outcomes, while QoL-related outcomes were of overriding importance in only 1/28 case. QoL can therefore not be considered as the main outcome of PCT. The review shows that in the context of chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer, 'palliative' refers to a life-prolonging intention, whereas within palliative care it refers to an improvement in QoL. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)835-845
    Number of pages11
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
    Volume42
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May-2006

    Keywords

    • review
    • quality of life
    • toxicity
    • survival gain
    • chemotherapy
    • advanced colorectal cancer
    • PHASE-III
    • FLUOROURACIL FAILURE
    • 1ST-LINE TREATMENT
    • LIVER METASTASES
    • ORAL LEUCOVORIN
    • MITOMYCIN-C
    • PLUS
    • IRINOTECAN
    • INFUSION
    • 5-FLUOROURACIL

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