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PLoS One. 2009 Aug 3;4(8):e6483. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006483.

Development and validation of a bedside score to predict early death in cancer of unknown primary patients.

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  • 1Département de Cancérologie Générale, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille, France.



We have investigated predictors of 90-day-mortality in a large cohort of non-specific cancer of unknown primary patients.


Predictors have been identified by univariate and then logistic regression analysis in a single-center cohort comprising 429 patients (development cohort). We identified four predictors that produced a predictive score that has been applied to an independent multi-institutional cohort of 409 patients (validation cohort). The score was the sum of predictors for each patient (0 to 4).


The 90-day-mortality-rate was 33 and 26% in both cohorts. Multivariate analysis has identified 4 predictors for 90-day-mortality: performance status>1 (OR = 3.03, p = 0.001), at least one co-morbidity requiring treatment (OR = 2.68, p = 0.004), LDH>1.5 x the upper limit of normal (OR = 2.88, p = 0.007) and low albumin or protein levels (OR = 3.05, p = 0.007). In the development cohort, 90-day-mortality-rates were 12.5%, 32% and 64% when the score was [0-1], 2 and [3]-[4], respectively. In the validation cohort, risks were 13%, 25% and 62% according to the same score values.


We have validated a score that is easily calculated at the beside that estimates the 90-days mortality rate in non-specific CUP patients. This could be helpful to identify patients who would be better served with palliative care rather than aggressive chemotherapy.

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