Prognostic factors and survival in a heterogeneous sample of cancer patients

Br J Cancer. 1996 Jun;73(12):1594-9. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1996.300.


This study examines the prognostic value of clinical assessments, including a 3-fold classification of cancer patients by treatment intention. It is based upon a sample of 253 patients with different cancer diagnoses who filled out a 108-item questionnaire. Cox regression analysis (the proportional hazards model) was used to analyse the relationship of the three groups of covariates (clinical, demographic and psychosocial) with survival. The univariate analysis showed that several clinical, demographic and psychosocial covariates are significantly related to survival. The study located two main prognostic factors: the 3-fold classification by treatment intention being the most important one, followed by physical functioning which may be seen as a proxy for performance status. Several additional covariates including psychosocial ones were related to survival when considered separately. However, their effects disappeared when controlling for treatment intention and physical functioning. Thus, the additional psychosocial covariates did no add to the prognostic value of the model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / classification
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Religion