Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 599–607

Impact of the treatment-free interval on health-related quality of life in patients with multiple myeloma: a UK cross-sectional survey

  • S. Acaster
  • S. Gaugris
  • G. Velikova
  • K. Yong
  • A. J. Lloyd
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-012-1548-y

Cite this article as:
Acaster, S., Gaugris, S., Velikova, G. et al. Support Care Cancer (2013) 21: 599. doi:10.1007/s00520-012-1548-y



While the impact of various treatments on myeloma patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQL) has been reported, the impact of a treatment-free interval (TFI) is currently unclear. The aims of this study were to assess if (1) a TFI is associated with a better HRQL vs. other treatment phases and (2) the length of the TFI influences HRQL.


A cross-sectional postal survey was conducted in the UK. The survey was sent to 605 multiple myeloma patients via the charity Myeloma UK and asked patients to rate their HRQL using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30), EORTC QLQ-MY20 and the EQ-5D. The results were analysed using ordinary least squares regression.


Surveys of 402 (67 %) were returned; 370 (61 %) were considered eligible for analysis. Results demonstrated that being in a first TFI relative to other treatment phases and experiencing a longer TFI were significantly associated with better HRQL as assessed by various domains of the QLQ-C30, MY20 and EQ-5D.


Patients enjoy better HRQL when in their first TFI, and the length of the TFI also positively impacts on HRQL This information may be important for patients and their physicians making treatment decisions and has implications for treatment protocols incorporating extended therapy.


Multiple myelomaQuality of lifeTreatment-free intervalTreatment phaseHRQL

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Acaster
    • 1
  • S. Gaugris
    • 2
  • G. Velikova
    • 3
  • K. Yong
    • 4
  • A. J. Lloyd
    • 5
  1. 1.Oxford Outcomes Ltd.San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Janssen-Cilag Ltd.BucksUK
  3. 3.St. James’s Institute of OncologyUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  4. 4.University College HospitalLondonUK
  5. 5.Oxford Outcomes Ltd.OxfordUK