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Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1989 Dec;25(12):1823-9.

Methylprednisolone as palliative therapy for female terminal cancer patients. The Methylprednisolone Female Preterminal Cancer Study Group.


A total of 173 female terminal cancer patients were randomized to treatment with daily 125 mg infusions of methylprednisolone sodium succinate or a matching placebo for a period of 8 consecutive weeks. Data were collected relative to quality of life, investigator assessment of efficacy and cause and time of death within the 8-week treatment period. Significant improvement in quality of life was reported across the 8-week follow-up period in the steroid group. Investigator global assessment of efficacy significantly favored the steroid-treatment patients. There were no significant differences between treatment groups with regard to overall mortality rates or time to death. The total number of reported adverse events did not differ significantly between treatment groups. However, significantly more steroid patients reported gastrointestinal and cardiovascular events. The severity and outcome of these events did not differ from the placebo patients. The results of this study confirm previous reports of steroid efficacy in improving quality of life in terminal cancer patients. The absence of any untoward effect on mortality and the favorable safety profile support the use of methylprednisolone as palliative therapy for terminal cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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