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Baseline Measure of Health-related Quality of Life (FACT-E) is Associated with Overall Survival in Esophageal Cancer Patients

Biniam Kidane, Joanne Sulman, Wei Xu, Qin Quinn Kong, Rebecca Wong, Jennifer J. Knox, Gail E. Darling

The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Volume 151, Issue 6, June 2016, Pages 1571–1580

Abstract
 

Objective

Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus is a health-related quality of life instrument validated in patients with esophageal cancer. It is composed of a general component and an esophageal cancer subscale. Our objective was to determine whether the baseline Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus and esophageal cancer subscale scores are associated with survival in patients with stage II and III cancer of the gastroesophageal junction or thoracic esophagus.

Methods

Data from 4 prospective studies in Canadian academic hospitals were combined. These included consecutive patients with stage II and III esophageal cancer who received neoadjuvant therapy followed by surgery or chemoradiation/radiation alone. All patients completed baseline Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus and esophageal cancer subscale scores were dichotomized on the basis of median scores. Cox regression analyses were performed.

Results

There were 207 patients treated between 1996 and 2014. Mean age was 61 ± 10.6 years. Approximately 69.6% of patients (n = 144) had adenocarcinoma. All patients had more than 9 months of follow-up. In patients with stage II and III, 93 deaths were observed. When treated as continuous variables, baseline Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus and esophageal cancer subscale were associated with survival with hazard ratios of 0.89 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-0.96; P = .005) and 0.68 (95% CI, 0.56-0.82; P < .001), respectively. When dichotomized, they were also associated with survival with a hazard ratio of 0.58 (95% CI, 0.38-0.89; P = .01) and 0.43 (95% CI, 0.28-0.67; P < .001), respectively.

Conclusions

In patients with stage II and III esophageal cancer being considered for therapy, higher baseline Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus and esophageal cancer subscale were independently associated with longer survival, even after adjusting for age, stage, histology, and therapy received. Further study is needed, but Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Esophagus may be useful as a prognostic tool to inform patient decision-making and patient selection criteria for studies.


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