Quality of life assessment in elderly patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treated with anthracycline-containing regimens. Report of a prospective study by the Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi

Francesco Merli, Marilena Bertini, Stefano Luminari, Ruggero Mozzana, Raffaella Bertè, Massimo Trottini, Caterina Stelitano, Barbara Botto, Michele Pizzuti, Gianni Quintana, Alberto De Paoli, Massimo Federico

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Abstract

Background and Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate quality of life (QOL) in a group of elderly patients (> 65 years) with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) treated with chemotherapy regimens containing anthracyclines. Design and Methods. QOL was evaluated in a population of elderly patients with aggressive NHL enrolled in a phase III clinical trial run by the Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi (IIL) from 1996 to 1999 to compare two different anthracycline-containing regimens (mini-CEOP vs P-VEBEC). The EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire, which has already been validated in oncology, was used. The questionnaire was administered at the time of diagnosis, half way through the chemotherapy and at the time of restaging. Results. Ninety-one patients completed pre-therapy and post-therapy questionnaires and they are the subject of this report. Baseline QOL assessment showed a strong correlation of poor values of QOL with anemia and high risk according to the International Prognostic Index (IPI). At the end of treatment no functional scales showed worse values. A significant improvement was observed for pain (p=0.003), appetite (p=0.006), sleep (p=0.015) and global health (p=0.027). Considering only the 50 patients who achieved a complete remission (CR), an improvement was also recorded for emotional state (p=0.10), role (p=0.05), constipation (p=0.04) and global QOL (p=0.05). Interpretation and Conclusions. The EORTC-QLQ-C30 is feasible even in a population of elderly patients, in whom it had never been tested before. The improvement of QOL at the end of the treatment demonstrated that the symptoms of the disease have a greater negative influence on the patient's life than do the side effects of the therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-978
Number of pages6
JournalHaematologica
Volume89
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • Elderly patients
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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