Purpose: To compare self-reported quality of life (QOL) in patients who did versus did not undergo interval secondary cytoreduction after initial surgery and combination chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer and to assess the association between baseline QOL scores and survival.
Patients and methods: Consenting patients participating in a Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) phase III treatment trial (GOG 152) completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Ovarian (FACT-O) questionnaire and treatment-specific supplemental questions at the third and sixth chemotherapy cycles and at 6 and 12 months after starting treatment.
Results: For all patients, QOL decreased approximately 1 unit from the first to second assessment. Significant improvement observed at 6 months (P < .001) was sustained at 12 months, with no appreciable between-group difference. The baseline FACT-O score was associated with overall survival (P = .048) but not progression-free survival. Less neurotoxicity was reported among patients who did (38.4%) versus did not (54.0%) undergo interval secondary cytoreduction at the third assessment (P = .005), and older patients experienced more long-term effects.
Conclusion: This is the first multicenter randomized trial in ovarian cancer to longitudinally examine self-reported QOL and establish a predictive value of baseline QOL on survival, attributed primarily to the lowest-scoring quartile. Although interval secondary cytoreduction resulted in no notable long-term difference, a clinically significant improvement was seen in both arms at 6 and 12 months after starting therapy. Interestingly, there were fewer complaints of neurotoxicity at 6 months among patients who did versus did not undergo interval secondary cytoreduction.