Health-related quality of life in stable, long-term survivors of low-grade glioma

F.W. Boele, L. Douw, J.C. Reijneveld, R. Robben, M.J.B. Taphoorn, N.K. Aaronson, J.J. Heimans, M. Klein

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Purpose: Patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) often experience long periods of stable disease, emphasizing the importance of maintaining good health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We assessed the changes in HRQOL in long-term survivors of WHO grade I or II astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, or oligoastrocytoma with clinically and radiologically stable disease.

Patients and Methods: Patients completed self-report measures of generic HRQOL (Short Form-36 [SF-36]) and disease-specific HRQOL (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Brain Cancer Module). Assessments took place at midterm and long-term follow-up, on average 6 and 12 years after histologic diagnosis and initial treatment, respectively. Comparisons between patients with LGG and individually matched healthy controls were made, and change within the patients with LGG was calculated, as was minimal detectable change.

Results: Although no statistically significant differences between patients with LGG and healthy matched controls were found at midterm follow-up, patients with LGG had worse physical role functioning (P = .004) and general health perceptions (P = .004) than controls at long-term follow-up. Within patients with stable LGG (n = 65), physical HRQOL (the SF-36 physical component summary and the physical functioning subscale) was significantly worse at long-term than at midterm follow-up (both P < .001). Although 48% of patients improved or remained stable on all HRQOL scales, 38.5% of patients experienced detectable decline on one or more scales.

Conclusion: Although HRQOL remains mostly preserved in the majority of patients with LGG, a subset of patients experience detectable decline on one or more HRQOL scales despite long-term stable disease. For this subgroup, further research is recommended to better aid patients in dealing with the consequences of LGG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1029
JournalJournal of clinical oncology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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