, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 283-291
Date: 05 Sep 2005

Prospective Study of Quality of Life in Adults with Newly Diagnosed High-grade Gliomas

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To assess baseline quality of life (QOL) and its prognostic importance for adults with newly diagnosed high-grade gliomas, we analyzed QOL and outcome data prospectively collected in three phase II high-grade glioma protocols.


At study entry, patients completed five self-administered forms to assess overall QOL (linear analogue scale assessment [LASA] and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain [FACT-Br]); fatigue (Symptom Distress Scale [SDS]); excessive daytime somnolence (Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ESS]); and depression (POMS-SF). Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance scores (PS) were obtained by the health care provider.


Baseline QOL data were available for 194 of 220 patients (88%) enrolled in the three protocols. Differences in baseline QOL among the three studies were not statistically significant. One-third of patients had clinically significant fatigue at baseline. Increased fatigue ( = 0.003), excessive daytime somnolence ( = 0.01), and lower overall QOL scores (LASA, = 0.001; FACT-Br, = 0.0001) correlated with worse ECOG PS. No relation was found between QOL and corticosteroid or anticonvulsant therapy, extent of resection, tumor grade, or sex. Multivariate analyses found worse ECOG PS (PS 2, = 0.007) associated with increased fatigue. Worse ECOG PS (PS 2, = 0.002) was also associated with worse overall QOL (LASA). On multivariate analyses of survival, increased fatigue ( = 0.003) predicted poorer overall survival.


Performance status is related to QOL in patients with newly diagnosed high-grade brain tumors. Increased fatigue is an independent predictor of overall survival. Interventional studies directed at improving QOL, especially fatigue, may have important benefits for these patients.