Objective: We worked to identify predictors of survival in patients with carcinomatosis on home parenteral nutrition (HPN).
Methods: Survival rate was evaluated in 152 terminal patients (45 men and 107 women) with peritoneal carcinosis on HPN. Selected anthropometric measurements (weight and body mass index), laboratory tests (serum albumin, cholesterol, cholinesterase [CHE], hemoglobin, and lymphocyte count) and clinical variables (ascites, pain, and vomiting) were recorded at baseline. A Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) was also determined.
Results: Sites of primary cancer were the stomach in 31.6%, ovaries in 27.6%, colorectum in 19.7%, and other in 21.1%. At baseline patients had abnormally low values: 55.3% had a body mass index no greater than 20.0 kg/m2, 40.4% had a serum albumin level lower than 3.0 g/dL, 55.7% had a lymphocyte count no higher than 1200/mm3, 54.6% had a cholesterol level lower than 160 mg/dL, and 63.1% had a CHE level lower than 5400 U/L. Pain, ascites, vomiting, and a KPS score no higher than 40 were observed in 44.1%, 55.3%, 76.3%, and 51.3% of patients, respectively. Survival ranged from 6 to 1269 d (median 45 d). Patients with a KPS score no higher than 40 had shorter survival than did patients with a KPS score of at least 50 (median 28.5 versus 81, P = 0.0001). Multivariate analysis (R2 = 0.152 for the entire model) indicated that KPS (P = 0.01) and CHE (P = 0.034) were significant predictors of survival. Moreover, three different combinations of selected clinical and laboratory variables identified patients who survived fewer than 60 d (high specificity).
Conclusions: Time of survival widely varied among terminal cancer patients; identification of predictive factors could help to draw up guidelines to improve indications for HPN. In this study, traditional predictors (KPS, albumin, pain, and vomiting) and CHE level appeared to be a useful survival predictor index in incurable patients with peritoneal carcinosis on HPN.