Health-related quality of life after chemotherapy for advanced germ cell tumors: A comparison of standard-dose and high-dose chemotherapy

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with germ cell tumors who received standard-dose chemotherapy or high-dose chemotherapy combined with peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT), and to compare the HRQoL of these patients with patients who had undergone surveillance therapy only.


Among the 102 patients included in this study, 38 underwent standard-dose cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy alone, 24 received high-dose chemotherapy with PBSCT following standard-dose chemotherapy, and 40 underwent surveillance monitoring. HRQoL was evaluated using the SF-36 survey, which contains 36 questions that assess eight quality-of-life aspects, including physical functioning, role-physical functioning, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role-emotional functioning and mental health.


The follow-up period of the surveillance group was significantly longer than that of the remaining two groups receiving chemotherapy; however, scale scores were not affected by the duration of follow up in either group. No significant difference was observed in any scale scores between the patients undergoing chemotherapy and those in the surveillance group. In comparison with the general population in the USA, social functioning in both the chemotherapy and surveillance groups was significantly lower, whereas vitality in these two groups was significantly higher. Patients undergoing standard-dose chemotherapy alone had a significantly higher score for mental health than those undergoing high-dose chemotherapy. However, there were no significant differences in the remaining seven scores, irrespective of the type of chemotherapy.


Seven of the eight scale scores of HRQoL were favorable in patients who received chemotherapy or surveillance, and no significant difference was observed between these two groups. Moreover, with the exception of the mental health score, HRQoL was not significantly affected by the type of chemotherapy. Therefore, patients who received chemotherapy, including high-dose chemotherapy with PBSCT, seem to be generally satisfied with their overall HRQoL.

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