The association between quality of life domains and overall survival in ovarian cancer patients during adjuvant chemotherapy: a Gynecologic Oncology Group Study

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Mar;124(3):379-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.11.032. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


Purpose: To explore the association between baseline quality of life (QOL) scores and overall survival (OS) in ovarian cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: Patients with stage III ovarian cancer on Gynecologic Oncology Group protocol #172 completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) and were then randomly assigned to either intravenous (IV) or intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. The FACT scale includes physical, functional, social, and emotional well-being domains (PWB, FWB, SWB, EWB). The PWB item, lack of energy, was used to assess the presence of fatigue.

Results: After adjusting for patient age, treatment assignment, and the presence of gross disease, PWB was associated with OS. Patients who reported baseline PWB scores in the lowest 25% (PWB score<15 points) relative to those who scored in the highest 25% (PWB score>24 points) had decreased OS (HR: 1.81; 95% CI: 1.2-2.72; p=0.005). Patients experienced death rates 20% lower for every mean item point increase in PWB (Hazard Ratio [HR]: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.68-0.93; p=0.005). Patients complaining of fatigue did not have an increased risk of death compared with those not feeling fatigued (HR: 1.21; 95% CI: 0.91-1.61; p=0.19).

Conclusions: Poor physical well-being reported at baseline is associated with risk of death in patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer. Identifying modifiable characteristics that are associated with survival offers the potential for providing support that may improve outcomes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Quality of Life*
  • Survival Rate


  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin