AbstractBackground and Aim
There have been few studies in Japan of the utility of quality of life (QOL) questionnaires as an evaluation of chemotherapy for gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. The present study investigated whether QOL can be an indicator of the clinical benefit of chemotherapy, by analyzing the changes in the QOL scores of patients who underwent in-hospital chemotherapy for GI cancer.Methods
From August 2004 to August 2006, 75 patients with GI cancer who were scheduled to undergo in-hospital chemotherapy were studied. The QOL score was measured with a questionnaire, the European Organization for Research Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 (version 3.0, Japanese version), before chemotherapy, and at 2 weeks and 1 month after the initiation of chemotherapy. Patients were divided into three groups according to the clinical response to chemotherapy (partial response [PR], no change [NC], and progressive disease [PD]).Results
In total, 65 patients were included in the analysis. Global QOL and physical functioning scores worsened significantly at 2 weeks. Pain and constipation scores improved significantly at 1 month. Nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, and diarrhea scores worsened significantly at 2 weeks. The global QOL score improved significantly after chemotherapy in the PR group. The pain score improved significantly in the PR and NC groups after chemotherapy. QOL scores improved in the NC group to almost the same level as in the PR group, whereas QOL worsened in the PD group.Conclusions
Measurement of QOL score is a meaningful marker of the benefit of chemotherapy, other than tumor reduction. The NC group could be considered to have responded with improved QOL.