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Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1989 Dec;25(12):1817-21.

Effect of methylprednisolone sodium succinate on quality of life in preterminal cancer patients: a placebo-controlled, multicenter study. The Methylprednisolone Preterminal Cancer Study Group.


The effectiveness of an 8-week, 125 mg/day intravenous course of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) for improving quality of life in patients with preterminal cancer was investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Quality of life was assessed using the Nurses' Observational Scale for Inpatient Evaluation (NOSIE), the Linear Analog Self-Assessment Scale (LASA), and the Physicians' Global Evaluation. A total of 403 patients were enrolled: 207 were treated with MPSS and 196 were treated with placebo. MPSS was significantly more effective than placebo in improving quality of life as judged by the changes from baseline in the NOSIE and LASA total scores. (P less than 0.05) and by the Physicians' Global Evaluation (P less than 0.001). The mortality rate was similar between MPSS-treated males (40.2%), placebo-treated males (35.5%), and MPSS-treated females (40.0%). However, the mortality rate of 27.7% for female placebo-treated females was significantly lower than for their MPSS-treated counterparts. The reason for lower mortality among placebo-treated females is unknown and warrants further study.

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