Chemotherapy Drug Maintains Quality of Life Despite Side Effects

Excerpt:

“Patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) reported similar health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during treatment with a recently approved chemotherapy drug as compared to patients receiving a placebo treatment, according to a clinical trial published in Lancet Oncology.

“These findings, in conjunction with previous research showing delayed disease progression, suggest the drug, called everolimus, may be able to preserve quality of life even in light of chemotherapy’s often-toxic side effects. The findings support the usefulness of HRQOL as an endpoint in clinical trials studying NETs, in a secondary analysis of their findings, according to the study.”

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Expert Raises QoL Concerns With Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy in ER+ Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“As research of early-stage estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer continues, experts are relying more on extended adjuvant hormonal therapy with aromatase inhibitors, but are concerned about patient quality of life (QoL) with such treatment.

” ‘My passion is to really try to figure out how to make the side effects of these therapies more tolerable and how to help women be able to actually have reasonably good and normal QoL while they’re taking these therapies, so that we can increase compliance,’ said Michelle E. Melisko, MD.”

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Patients with Low Risk Prostate Cancer on Active Surveillance Experience Good Quality of Life

Excerpt:

“Active surveillance (AS) has become an increasingly important alternative to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment for men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer. However, what is the impact of AS on health related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients selected or opting for this conservative form of disease management? New research published in The Journal of Urology found that patients on AS who were tracked for three years experienced similar HRQoL as men without prostate cancer, both clinically and psychologically.

“The majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have low risk disease and face a difficult decision between having the disease managed conservatively through AS or undergoing definitive therapy. These results can help guide physicians and patients through this decision-making process.”

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Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer Can Give Men Good Quality of Life

“Choosing ongoing monitoring instead of immediate curative treatment (surgery or radiotherapy) leads to a better overall quality of life for men with low-risk prostate cancer. In fact, the Quality of life (QoL) is about the same as for men who do not have cancer. These are the findings of a new long-term study comparing Active Surveillance, immediate curative treatment, and a reference group of men without cancer, presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Munich.

“Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, with around 400,000 new cases every year in Europe. Most  are treated quickly by  -radical prostatectomy (RP) – or radiotherapy (RT), but both treatments can show significant and distressing side effects, most commonly incontinence, or erectile dysfunction. One alternative which is increasingly considered for patients with less-aggressive cancers is to delay or avoid initial treatment, but instead keeping the patient under Active Surveillance (AS), meaning that the cancer is regularly monitored, with the option of switching to curative treatment if the condition of the tumour changes. Now a new study has examined whether AS actually helps prostate cancer patients to live a better quality of life in the long term.”


Radium-223 Improves QoL Over Placebo in CRPC

“Analyses from the phase III ALSYMPCA trial showed that treatment with the alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical radium-223 resulted in quality-of-life (QoL) improvements over placebo in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and symptomatic bone metastases.

“ ‘Patients with CRPC and bone metastases often present with symptoms such as pain fatigue, anorexia, and, rarely, spinal cord compression, contributing to rapid and significant deterioration in health-related QoL and mortality,’ wrote study authors led by Sten Nilsson, MD, PhD, of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.

“The ALSYMPCA trial found that radium-223 prolonged overall survival (OS) as well as time to first symptomatic skeletal event by significant periods. The trial included prospective QoL measurements using the EuroQoL EQ-5D and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Prostate (FACT-P). The results from these tests were published online ahead of print in Annals of Oncology.”


Shorter Course of ADT for High-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients Yields Improved Quality of Life

The gist: This article covers the results of a clinical trial—a research study with volunteer patients. The goal of the trial was to compare two different schedules of treatment with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Some of the patients who participated in the trial received radiation therapy plus an 18-month course of ADT. Other patients had radiation therapy plus a 36-month course of ADT. The researchers found that the patients on the 18-month course recovered a normal testosterone level more quickly and had better quality of life than the patients on the 36-month course. And, the shorter course did not lower the long-term effectiveness of the treatment compared to the 36-month course.

“High-risk prostate cancer patients who receive radiation therapy (RT) and an 18-month course of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) recover a normal testosterone level in a shorter amount of time compared to those who receive a 36-month course of ADT, thus resulting in a better quality of life (QOL) and without detriment to long-term outcomes, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO’s) 56th Annual Meeting.

“Researchers analyzed data from 561 patients with high-risk prostate cancer from a multi-center, randomized phase III trial in Canada (PCS IV clinical trials, Gov. # NCT 00223171). The patients received RT and long-term ADT. A common ancillary treatment for prostate cancer, ADT reduces levels of androgen hormones in order to prevent prostate cancer cells from growing.

“Patients were randomized into two groups—one group of 289 patients who received 18 months of androgen deprivation therapy and RT, and a second group of 272 patients who received 36 months of ADT and RT. In both groups, RT started four months after the beginning of ADT.”


Poor Baseline QOL Failed to Predict Worse Outcomes in NSCLC

“Poor baseline quality-of-life scores did not predict worse survival outcomes among patients undergoing non–small cell lung cancer surgery who were at high risk for adverse events.

“In a randomized, multicenter trial, Hiran C. Fernando, MD, chief of the division of thoracic surgery at Boston Medical Center, evaluated 212 patients with NSCLC who were randomly assigned to undergo sublobar resection or sublobar resection with brachytherapy.”

Editor’s note: This story describes a study that tracked the quality of life of volunteers with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were undergoing surgery to remove their tumors and who were at high risk for harmful side effects of the surgery. The study aimed to determine if low quality of life before surgery was linked with worse outcomes of the surgery. Contrary to previous studies, this study found that poor quality of life did not predict poor surgical outcomes.


Thematic Session 10: Update on treatment options for patients with CRPC

“There are new treatment options for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) but finding the optimal strategy and selecting the right patient is still fraught with challenges and difficulties, according to uro-oncology experts during a thematic session at the 29th Annual EAU Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

“ ‘With many prostate cancer patients hoping for a better life without symptoms of the disease, the aim is to identify which new drugs, or a combination of these drugs, can offer prolong survival or effectively palliate bone disease,’ said Prof. Maria De Santis who chaired Thematic Session 10.

“The session focussed on castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) which is often considered one of the toughest challenges in uro-oncology since despite repeated treatments the disease accelerates or progresses with severe impact on quality of life (QoL).”

Editor’s note: This article is about an event at a urology conference in Sweden. During the event, participants discussed the latest in prostate cancer treatment, with a focus on castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).