Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 2399–2405 | Cite as

Chemotherapy line-associated differences in quality of life in patients with advanced cancer

  • B. MayrbäurlEmail author
  • L. M. Wintner
  • J. M. Giesinger
  • Th. Himmelfreundpointner
  • S. Burgstaller
  • B. Holzner
  • J. Thaler
Original Article



The aim of this study was to investigate quality of life (QOL) differences between patients receiving first, second, or third-line palliative chemotherapy (CT).Furthermore, QOL was also compared to a sex- and age-matched sample of healthy controls.


Patients with different metastatic cancers receiving palliative CT were approached to complete the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire by means of touch-screen computers before the start of CT, after 3 cycles and at the end of cytostatic treatment.


One hundred four patients were recruited for QOL assessment (56.9% of patients in first, 22.5% second and 20.6% third- or above-line palliative CT). Compared to healthy controls, they suffered from substantial QOL impairments in all EORTC QLQ-C30 sub-domains. In regard to CT lines, patients with first-line CT reached better scores in emotional and social functioning than second-line patients and less financial difficulties than third-line patients. Despite the high level of impairment in the patient sample, electronic data collection proved to be feasible and well accepted.


The results indicate that patients receiving third- or above-line palliative CT are confronted with stronger QOL impairments than first- and second-line patients. Supported by its feasibility and acceptance of by patients, electronic QOL data capture is an attractive method to screen for symptoms and track their course within clinical routine.


Palliative cancer patients Patient-reported outcomes Quality of life Multiple chemotherapy lines 





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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Mayrbäurl
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. M. Wintner
    • 2
  • J. M. Giesinger
    • 2
  • Th. Himmelfreundpointner
    • 3
  • S. Burgstaller
    • 1
  • B. Holzner
    • 2
  • J. Thaler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine IVClinical Centre Wels-GrieskirchenWelsAustria
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria
  3. 3.WelsAustria

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