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BMC Res Notes. 2012 Jun 20;5:314. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-314.

Symptom burden & quality of life among patients receiving second-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

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ACORN Research, LLC, Memphis, TN, USA.



Bevacizumab (B) and cetuximab (C) are both approved for use in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in the second-line. We examined patient reported symptom burden during second-line treatment of mCRC.


Adult mCRC patients treated in the second-line setting with a regimen that included B, C, or chemotherapy only (O) and who had completed ≥ 1 Patient Care Monitor (PCM) surveys as part of routine clinical care were drawn from the ACORN Data Warehouse. Primary endpoints were rash, dry skin, itching, nail changes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, burning in hands/feet, and diarrhea. Linear mixed models examined change in PCM scores across B, C and O (B = reference).


182 patients were enrolled (B: n = 106, C: n = 38, O: n = 38). Patients were 51% female, 67% Caucasian, with mean age of 62.0 (SD = 12.6). Groups did not differ on demographic or clinical characteristics. The most common second-line regimens were FOLFIRI ± B or C (23.1%) and FOLFOX ± B or C (22.5%). Results showed baseline scores to be strongly predictive of second-line symptoms across all PCM items (all p's < .0001 except for Rash, p = .0013). Controlling for baseline, patients on B tended to have more stable and less severe symptoms. Patients on C had more severe rash, dry skin, and itching and had nail change scores that worsened faster than did B patients.


Patients receiving second-line treatment for mCRC with B report less symptom burden, especially dermatologic, compared to patients treated with C.

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