Stephen Joseph Garcia, Charles Vincent Uy, Corazon Ngelangel and Francisco Delos Reyes
Introduction: The primary aim in cancer treatment is to provide excellent tumor response while maintaining the most acceptable quality of life. The relationship of QoL to tumor response has not yet been well discussed. This study determines the association between the change in the QoL from baseline to one year follow-up and tumor response among patients enrolled in the ASEAN Cost in Oncology (ACTION) study.
Methods: Pooled data from the ACTION study was reviewed. Associations between demographics, cancer type, and tumor response were analyzed.
Results: Of the qualified profiles (412/ 742), breast cancer (42.2%), colorectal (21.8%), and head neck (10%) are still most common. Of these cases, 126 (30.6%) were metastatic on presentation. Demographic data showed female sex having better tumor response. More importantly, tumor response was significantly associated with improvement in QoL: complete or partial response was associated with improvement in QoL (p=.000) while progressive disease related to worse situations. The general pattern seen above was reflected in female breast cancer cases, colon and rectal cancer, and other malignant neoplasms.
Conclusion: Improvement in QoL was significantly associated with better tumor response. This trend was similar for breast cancer, colorectal cancer and other malignancies. The use of universal measures of health like the EQ5D-3L may be used to quantify improvements in QoL with several limitations: 1) Cultural differences should be established and 2) Limitations in quantifying precise changes in QoL. The utilization of more culturally adept QoL measures may address this problem. Similarly, the use of secondary data may limit the results in this study. Prospective studies specifically addressing the objectives may improve results.