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J Clin Oncol. 2007 Dec 20;25(36):5723-30.

Health-related quality of life in patients treated for anaplastic oligodendroglioma with adjuvant chemotherapy: results of a European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer randomized clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Medical Center Haaglanden/Westeinde Ziekenhuis, the Hague, The Netherlands. m.taphoorn@mchaaglanden.nl



Little is known about the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients treated for anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. The impact of combined procarbazine, CCNU (lomustine), and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy after radiotherapy (RT) compared with RT alone on HRQOL in the randomized European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 26951 trial was studied.


Adult patients with anaplastic oligodendrogliomas received RT alone or RT plus PCV chemotherapy. HRQOL was assessed with the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 and Brain Cancer Module. Seven prespecified HRQOL end points were selected. We hypothesized that chemotherapy would impair HRQOL during treatment but that there would be a similar HRQOL between treatment arms once off treatment. Assessments were performed at randomization, at the end of RT, and then every 3 to 6 months until progression.


A total of 368 patients were randomly assigned to one of the two arms; overall, 58% were male, and the median age was 49 years. Compliance with HRQOL was 78% at baseline and dropped to 55% to 72% up to 2.5 years post-RT. Baseline scores demonstrated considerable impairments in HRQOL for both treatment groups. The longitudinal analysis showed a significant increase in nausea/vomiting in the RT plus PCV chemotherapy arm during and shortly after chemotherapy. Because of a difference in baseline scores for fatigue and physical functioning, the differences between treatment arms during PCV did not reach significance. The nonselected scales of appetite loss and drowsiness demonstrated significant differences between treatment arms during chemotherapy in favor of the RT arm. The long-term results showed no difference between arms.


The major impact of PCV on HRQOL is on nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, and drowsiness during and shortly after treatment. There are no long-term effects of PCV chemotherapy.

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