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Br J Haematol. 1997 Apr;97(1):29-37.

Health-related quality of life assessed before and during chemotherapy predicts for survival in multiple myeloma. Nordic Myeloma Study Group.

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Department of Haematology, Medical Clinic, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Measurement of health-related quality of life was integrated into a randomized trial (NMSG 4/90) comparing melphalan/prednisone to melphalan/prednisone + interferon alpha-2b in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. One of the aims of the study was to assess the prognostic significance of quality-of-life scores, using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Univariate analysis showed a highly significant association with survival from the start of therapy for physical functioning as well as role and cognitive functioning, global quality of life, fatigue and pain. In multivariate analysis, physical functioning and W.H.O. performance status were independent prognostic factors (P values = 0.001 for both) when analysed in a Cox regression model with the somatic variables beta-2 microglobulin, skeletal disease and age. The best prediction for survival from the start of therapy was obtained by combining the beta-2 microglobulin and physical functioning scores in a variable consisting of three risk factor levels with an estimated median survival of 17, 29 and 49 months, respectively. At a 12 months landmark analysis, the relative risk for patients with physical functioning score 0-20 v 80-100 was 5.63 (99% CI 2.76-11.49), whereas the relative risk for patients without an objective response to chemotherapy compared to those with at least a minor response was 2.32 (99% CI 1.44-3.74). Quality-of-life assessment may be an independent and valuable addition to the known prognostic factors in multiple myeloma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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