Global study validates EORTC bone metastases

A quality of life questionnaire for cancer patients with bone metastases developed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) has been validated by an international study conducted by cancer treatment centers in five continents.

The study was described in an article published online on 3 July in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics.

Seventy-nine patients who received palliative radiotherapy treatments for bone metastases between March 2010 and January 2011 were evaluated at seven centers. The centers were located in Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, France, and India.

The QLQ-BM22 questionnaire includes 22 items that assess painful sites on the body, characteristics of pain, functional interference, and psychosocial aspects in multi-item scales. It is recommended for use with the QLQ-C30 questionnaire, which has been translated into 81 languages and has been used in more than 3,000 clinical trials.

One month following treatment, 22 of the patients had a partial response from the radiotherapy treatment. None of the patients had a complete response, according to lead author Liang Zeng of the department of radiation oncology at the University of Toronto's Odette Cancer Centre. The bone metastasis-specific questionnaire was able to differentiate the patients who responded to treatment from those who did not. Since palliative radiotherapy may be administered in a single or varying number of multiple treatments, the questionnaire is expected to be helpful in better identifying patients who respond to this therapy.

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