Health-related quality of life in ovarian cancer patients and its impact on clinical management

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2011 Aug;11(4):421-31. doi: 10.1586/erp.11.41.


Although the incidence of ovarian cancer is less than that of other female cancers, the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease course is high. Because treatment involves radical surgery and intense courses of chemotherapy, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is often compromised. Most patients recur post-first-line therapy and undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Thus, HRQOL is further disrupted. As the ongoing search for optimal therapies in both the first-line and recurrent setting continues, much attention is paid towards clinical trial design and implementation. Over the last decade, patient-reported outcomes and HRQOL measurement have become an integral part of these trials. HRQOL data are valued in examining the extent of treatment benefit and therefore can aid in decision-making during active treatment and palliative care. HRQOL and patient-reported outcome measurement is also useful in determining symptom prevalence, severity and management. This article highlights the state of the science of HRQOL measurement in clinical trial design and outcomes. In addition, symptom management in ovarian cancer and its ability to modulate quality of life will be explored.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antineoplastic Agents