Survival prediction score: a simple but age-dependent method predicting prognosis in patients undergoing palliative radiotherapy

ISRN Oncol. 2014 Mar 19;2014:912865. doi: 10.1155/2014/912865. eCollection 2014.


Purpose. Validation of a Canadian three-tiered prognostic model (survival prediction score, SPS) in Norwegian cancer patients referred for palliative radiotherapy (PRT), and evaluation of age-dependent performance of the model. Patients and Methods. We analyzed all 579 PRT courses administered at a dedicated PRT facility between 20.06.07 and 31.12.2009. SPS was assigned as originally described, That is, by taking into consideration three variables: primary cancer type, site of metastases, and performance status. Results. Patients with poor prognosis (non-breast cancer, metastases other than bone, and Karnofsky performance status (KPS) ≤ 60) had median survival of 13 weeks. Those with intermediate prognosis (two of these parameters) survived for a median of 29 weeks, and patients with good prognosis for a median of 114 weeks, P < 0.001. While this model performed well in patients who were 60 years or older, it was less satisfactory in younger patients (no significant difference between the good and intermediate prognosis groups). Conclusion. SPS should mainly be used to predict survival of elderly cancer patients. However, even in this group accuracy is limited because the good prognosis group contained patients with short survival, while the poor prognosis group contained long-term survivors. Thus, improved models should be developed.