The symptom burden of primary brain tumors: evidence for a core set of tumor- and treatment-related symptoms

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



A set of symptoms common across cancers has been proposed to enhance quality of care and clinical research in solid tumor patients. Using data from several clinical studies, this study evaluated these symptoms in primary brain tumor patients.


Symptom report data using the MD Anderson Symptom Instrument -Brain Tumor (MDASI-BT) from 621 patients enrolled in 8 clinical studies was used. The prevalence and severity of symptoms were reported as they relate to tumor grade, treatment stage and KPS.


The sample was primarily white (82.5%) males (59%) with high-grade gliomas (75%). More than 50% of patients reported at least 10 concurrent symptoms, and 40% of patients reporting having at least 3 moderate-to-severe symptoms. Fatigue, drowsiness, difficulty remembering, disturbed sleep, and distress were the most severe symptoms reported by all tumor grades. Functional interference of symptoms with ability to work, perform activities, walk, and enjoy life was reported by more than 25% of patients.


These results support a core set of symptoms, common in other solid tumor patients, that may impact clinical care and assessment of treatment benefit. Although only 5 of the Center for Medical Technology Policy list of proposed core symptoms met criteria for inclusion in this sample, 5 of the other proposed core symptoms were also reported in similar frequency as reported in the other cancer populations. This primary brain tumor population differed from other solid tumor patients in that other symptoms, which could be disease related, were more prevalent and thus should also be collected for these patients.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles