Pretreatment Patient-reported Overall Health: A Prognostic Factor for Early Overall Mortality After Primary Curative Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Eur Urol Open Sci. 2024 Mar 23:63:62-70. doi: 10.1016/j.euros.2024.03.005. eCollection 2024 May.


Background and objective: Registry-based studies for prostate cancer (PCa) document higher overall mortality (OM) after high-dose radiotherapy (RT) than after radical prostatectomy (RP). Our aim was to explore the association between pretreatment patient-reported health ("OverallHealth": OH) and curative treatment type, and the impact on early OM.

Methods: New PCa patients registered between 2017 and 2019 in the Cancer Registry of Norway (n = 1949) completed the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Core 30 (QLQ-C30) questionnaire before RP (n = 592) or RT (n = 610) or after allocation to active surveillance (AS; n = 747). We dichotomised the QLQ-C30 summary score to classify patients with un-impaired versus impaired OH. Standard univariable and multivariable analyses with treatment type or OM as the outcome were conducted. The mean observation time was 4.7 years (standard deviation 1.0). Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

Key findings and limitations: Impaired OH was more frequent in the RT group (38%) than in the RP (25%) or AS (28%) group (p < 0.001). Higher age, higher risk group, and impaired OH increased the probability of undergoinRT rather than RP (p < 0.001). Impaired OH was associated with a twofold higher early OM rate in the RT group (16% vs 8%; p = 0.009) and fourfold higher OM rate in the AS group (13% vs 3%; p < 0.001). These findings remained significant in Cox regression analyses controlled for age and risk group. After RP, only locally advanced high-risk tumours were significantly associated with OM. Unknown psychometrics for the OH variable is the main study limitation.

Conclusions and clinical implications: Pretreatment patient-reported impaired OH, measured as the QLQ-C30 summary score, was positively associated with allocation to RT or AS and is a prognostic factor for early OM. Before allocation to RT or AS, elderly patients with PCa should be screened and treated for health problems that can be remedied. Future studies should determine the psychometrics of the QLQ-C30 summary score in comparison to established frailty screening instruments.

Patient summary: Patient-reported scores reflecting their overall health can help in choosing curative treatment for prostate cancer and are associated with survival during the first 5 years after treatment.

Keywords: Curative treatment; Pretreatment patient-reported health; Prostate cancer; Short-term overall survival; Treatment choice.