Exploring the Patient Perspective of Bone Sarcoma Survivors Who Have Undergone Particle Radiotherapy Abroad

Anticancer Res. 2023 May;43(5):2031-2039. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.16364.


Background/aim: Sarcoma patients' experiences of their health-related quality of life and late effects following particle therapy are sparse. Such knowledge is essential to optimize treatment compliance and follow-up care related to this rapidly developing, but still centralized treatment modality.

Patients and methods: This qualitative study has an explorative design and applies a phenomenological and hermeneutical approach based on semi-structured interviews with 12 bone sarcoma patients who had undergone particle therapy abroad. The data were interpreted using thematic analysis.

Results: Several of the participants called for more information about how the treatment would be carried out, its acute side effects and late complications. Most participants had positive experiences from the treatment and their stay abroad, but several struggled with late effects and other challenges. Themes that emerged from the analysis were "importance of being prepared", "treatment and stay abroad", "basically healthy, but with health problems and challenges".

Conclusion: Oncologists who inform and refer patients to particle therapy abroad must have sufficient experience of this treatment modality, prognoses, acute side effects, and late complications. Findings derived from this study may improve treatment preparation and compliance, enhance understanding of individual patient challenges to reduce stress and worry, and lead to better follow-up care and consequently quality of life of this selected group of bone sarcoma patients.

Keywords: Bone sarcoma; carbon ions; particle beam therapy; protons; qualitative research.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Osteosarcoma* / radiotherapy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Sarcoma* / radiotherapy
  • Survivors