Outcome assessment in cancer management

Marcello Tamburini, Paolo G. Casali, Guido Miccinesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goals of cancer treatment may be prevention, cure, or palliation. In each case, the length and quality of survival are the ultimate outcomes to assess when evaluating the success of treatment. Some surrogate or intermediate endpoints, however, may be considered, such as toxicity or the tumor response. The first section of this article considers traditional outcomes and endpoints and intermediate or surrogate endpoints for survival and quality of life. The second section specifically addresses the issue of the quality-of-life outcome, which has become increasingly important over the last 2 decades. The last section suggests that combining survival and quality of life may not be easy. Costs are increasingly important in management of diseases, and the outcomes of cancer treatment frequently are measured against them. Although the definitions of cost-effectiveness and cost-utility are mentioned at the end of this article, the article does not deal with the problems of decision making for health resource allocation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-486
Number of pages16
JournalSurgical Clinics of North America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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