Health-related quality of life and cognitive functioning in long-term anaplastic oligodendroglioma and oligoastrocytoma survivors

J Neurooncol. 2014 Jan;116(1):161-8. doi: 10.1007/s11060-013-1278-0. Epub 2013 Oct 26.


Overall survival of patients with anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors has been improved due to the addition of procarbazine, lomustine and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy to radiotherapy (RT), especially in 1p/19q-codeleted tumors. With improved survival, quality of survival becomes pivotal. We evaluated cognitive functioning and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a cohort of long-term anaplastic oligodendroglioma survivors. Thirty-two out of 37 long-term survivors included in European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) study 26951 in the Netherlands and France participated. Cognition was assessed using neuropsychological tests for 6 domains, and HRQOL with the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and Brain Cancer Module (EORTC QLQ-BN20). Fatigue and mood were evaluated. Results were compared to healthy controls and to patients' own HRQOL 2.5 years following initial treatment. At the time of assessment, median survival for the patients was 147 months, 27 were still progression-free since initial treatment. Of progression-free patients, 26% were not, and 30% were severely cognitively impaired; 41% were employed and 81% could live independently. Patients' HRQOL was worse compared to controls, but similar to 2.5 years after initial treatment. Initial treatment (RT versus RT + PCV) was not correlated with cognition or HRQOL. In conclusion, cognitive functioning in long-term anaplastic oligodendroglioma survivors is variable. However, most patients function independently. In progression-free patients, HRQOL is relatively stable during the disease course. In this small sample, no effect of the addition of PCV on cognition or HRQOL was identified.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Astrocytoma / complications*
  • Astrocytoma / psychology*
  • Astrocytoma / therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications*
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Modification Methylases
  • DNA Repair Enzymes
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiotherapy
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Temozolomide
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Dacarbazine
  • DNA Modification Methylases
  • MGMT protein, human
  • DNA Repair Enzymes
  • Temozolomide