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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2004 Aug;28(2):115-22.

Prediction of survival in terminal cancer patients in Taiwan: constructing a prognostic scale.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine (R.-B.C.), Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


We prospectively identified prognostic factors and developed a prognostic scale in 356 Taiwanese terminal cancer patients (training set). Demographic data, severity of symptoms/signs, and survival were statistically analyzed to create the scale, which was tested in another 184 patients (testing set). In the training set, liver and lung metastases, functional performance status, weight loss, edema, cognitive impairment, tiredness, and ascites were independently associated with shorter survival (multivariate analysis). The scale ranged from 0.0 (no altered variables) to 8.5 (maximal alteration for all variables). When scores were < 3.5, 2-week survival was predicted with 0.72 and 0.61 accuracy for the training and testing sets, respectively. With scores < 6.0, 1-week survival was predicted with 0.72 and 0.66 accuracy, respectively. This scale, which includes lung and liver metastases and severity of symptoms/signs, may help in identifying the stage of dying and its corresponding symptoms/signs and also in improving survival prediction in terminal cancer patients.

Copyright 2004 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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