• The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer breast cancer-specific quality-of-life questionnaire module: first results from a three-country field study.

      Sprangers, M; Groenvold, M; Arraras, J; Franklin, J; Te Velde, A; Muller, M; Franzini, L; Williams, A; De Haes, H; Hopwood, Penelope; et al. (1996-10)
      PURPOSE: To construct a breast cancer-specific quality-of-life questionnaire (QLQ) module to be used in conjunction with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and to test its reliability and validity cross-culturally. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Module construction took place after the EORTC guidelines for module development. The module--the QLQ-BR23--consists of 23 items covering symptoms and side effects related to different treatment modalities, body image, sexuality, and future perspective. This module was tested in 170 Dutch, 168 Spanish, and 158 American cancer patients at two points in time. The timing for the Dutch and Spanish patients was before and during treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. For the American patients, the questionnaire was administered at admission at the breast clinic and 3 months after the first assessment. RESULTS: Multitrait scaling analysis confirmed the hypothesized structure of four of the five scales. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were, in general, lowest in Spain (range; .46 to .94) and highest in the United States (range; .70 to .91). On the basis of known-groups comparisons, selective scales distinguished clearly between patients differing in disease stage, previous surgery, performance status, and treatment modality, according to expectation. Additionally, selective scales detected change over time as a function of changes in performance status and treatment-induced change. CONCLUSION: These results lend support to the clinical and cross-cultural validity of the QLQ-BR23 as a supplementary questionnaire for assessing specific quality-of-life issues relevant to patients with breast cancer.
    • Quality of life in good prognosis patients with metastatic germ cell cancer: a prospective study of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Genitourinary Group/Medical Research Council Testicular Cancer Study Group (30941/TE20).

      Fosså, Sophie D; De Wit, Ronald; Roberts, J Trevor; Wilkinson, Peter M; De Mulder, Pieter H M; Mead, Graham M; Cook, Pat; De Prijck, Linda; Stenning, Sally P; Aaronson, N; et al. (2003-03-15)
      PURPOSE: To describe global quality of life (GLQL) in patients with metastatic testicular cancer (TC) treated with four different schedules of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) chemotherapy (four v three cycles given over 5 v 3 days). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Quality-of-life data were prospectively collected in 666 patients with metastatic TC entered into the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Trial 30941/United Kingdom Medical Research Council Trial TE20, using the EORTC Quality-of-Life Questionnaire C30 and a TC module. Data were analyzed by a mixed effects model and by evaluation of clinically relevant changes at 2 years. RESULTS: The pattern of GLQL changes was similar in the four groups. Two years after chemotherapy, 36% of patients displayed improved GLQL as compared with baseline, whereas GLQL had deteriorated in 13%. At 3 months, patients receiving the 3-day regimen experienced increased gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity more than those receiving the 5-day regimen, with the difference reaching the level of clinical relevance (>or = 10-point change) if four cycles were given. The 3-day schedule increased the 2-year risk of tinnitus, with clinical relevance demonstrated after four cycles. Long-term peripheral neuropathy and Raynaud-like phenomena were not associated with the number of cycles or days per cycle. At 2 years, Raynaud-like phenomena, tinnitus, or reduced hearing were reported by 21% to 26% of the patients. CONCLUSION: Because of the excess of acute GI toxicity and the increased risk of tinnitus after the 3-day regimen, we recommend the 5-day regimen if four cycles of BEP are planned. If only three cycles are to be given, then the 3-day regimen is acceptable, even given the increased risk of nausea/vomiting at 3 months.
    • Randomized phase III study of temozolomide versus dacarbazine in the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic malignant melanoma.

      Middleton, Mark R; Grob, J J; Aaronson, N; Fierlbeck, G; Tilgen, W; Seiter, S; Gore, M; Aamdal, S; Cebon, J; Coates, A; et al. (2000-01)
      PURPOSE: To compare, in 305 patients with advanced metastatic melanoma, temozolomide and dacarbazine (DTIC) in terms of overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), objective response, and safety, and to assess health-related quality of life (QOL) and pharmacokinetics of both drugs and their metabolite, 5-(3-methyltriazen-1-yl)imidazole-4-carboximide (MTIC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomized to receive either oral temozolomide at a starting dosage of 200 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days every 28 days or intravenous (IV) DTIC at a starting dosage of 250 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days every 21 days. RESULTS: In the intent-to-treat population, median survival time was 7.7 months for patients treated with temozolomide and 6.4 months for those treated with DTIC (hazards ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.52). Median PFS time was significantly longer in the temozolomide-treated group (1.9 months) than in the DTIC-treated group (1.5 months) (P =.012; hazards ratio, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.75). No major difference in drug safety was observed. Temozolomide was well tolerated and produced a noncumulative, transient myelosuppression late in the 28-day cycle. The most common nonhematologic toxicities were mild to moderate nausea and vomiting, which were easily managed. Temozolomide therapy improved health-related QOL; more patients showed improvement or maintenance of physical functioning at week 12. Systemic exposure (area under the curve) to the parent drug and the active metabolite, MTIC, was higher after treatment with oral temozolomide than after IV administration of DTIC. CONCLUSION: Temozolomide demonstrates efficacy equal to that of DTIC and is an oral alternative for patients with advanced metastatic melanoma.