Purpose: Prospective assessment of quality of life (QoL) in patients with refractory, residual or recurrent ovarian cancer receiving whole abdomen hyperthermia and intravenous liposomal doxorubicin chemotherapy.
Methods: Treatment consisted of six cycles of intravenous liposomal doxorubicin at 40 mg m2 followed by whole abdomen hyperthermia with each cycle delivered every 4 weeks. QoL assessment was performed at baseline, prior to each cycle of chemotherapy and every 3 months during follow-up using self-administered questionnaires. Global QoL was rated on a seven-point scale and specific domains of QoL, disease related symptoms and treatment related toxicity were rated on a four-point scale.
Results: Thirty-two patients were enrolled on the study and 129 QoL questionnaires were completed. Average age was 57.9 (range 45-76); nine patients had persistent and 23 recurrent disease. Ten patients completed six cycles of therapy. Three patients returned follow-up surveys. Subjects rated their overall QoL and health at baseline as above average with mean scores 5.10 (95% CI=4.62-5.58) and 4.66 (95% CI=4.23-5.08), respectively. No significant change in overall QoL was found between baseline and cycles 4-6 of therapy. Mean ratings of overall health and subject reported differences in QoL between cycles were not significantly changed during therapy. Limited follow-up data were available, but scores suggest possible improvement in QoL for patients completing all therapy. Subjects rated the greatest negative impact on QoL in areas of role functioning and social functioning, where the mean (SD) over all cycles was 2.00 (0.67) and 1.98 (0.70), respectively. For physical symptoms, fatigue and sleep disturbance had the most negative impact on QoL with means (SD) of 2.26 (0.62) and 1.91 (0.70). The moderate treatment related toxicity seen in this study did not significantly impact patients reported QoL.
Conclusions: Patients with unfavourable ovarian cancer responding to intravenous liposomal doxorubicin and whole abdomen hyperthermia maintained above average QoL during therapy. Limited data on patients completing protocol therapy demonstrated possible improvement in QoL.