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Results of Quality of Life Study of Patients with Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer Reported

Results of a prospective health-related quality of life (HRQOL) study on prostate cancer patients were presented at the American Urological Association meeting by M. Craig Hall, M.D., associate professor of urology and director of urologic oncology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The meeting was held in Anaheim, California, June 2-7.

The study assessed health-related quality of life changes over a one-year period for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy, interstitial brachytherapy or external beam radiation therapy. The results of the analysis demonstrate that there are significant decreases in HRQOL the first month following interstitial brachytherapy or radical prostatectomy, but not following external beam radiation therapy. However, one year following treatment the scores were not significantly different from baseline measure for any group, meaning each group returned to the quality of life level they had prior to treatment.

Ninety patients completed self-administered Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-P) and International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) questionnaires pre-treatment (baseline score), and at 1-month, 3-months and 12-months post-treatment. For all treatment groups, most of the HRQOL decreases are observed in the physical well-being, functional well-being and prostate cancer symptom domains.

"The importance of prospective data collection cannot be overemphasized," said Hall. "The results of this study suggest that HRQOL changes are likely to be treatment specific, emphasizing the importance of randomized trials comparing different treatment options in this population of men."

The FACT-P is a 41-item self-report questionnaire that measures physical, functional, social/family, emotional well-being, doctor/patient relationship and specific quality of life issues related to prostate cancer patients. The IPSS specifically measures lower urinary tract symptoms.

In patients diagnosed with cancer, the success of any particular treatment traditionally has been measured by the length of time a patient is disease-free or overall survival. However, as a result of the medical outcomes movement, a great deal of attention recently has been focused on non-traditional endpoints such as patient reported health-related quality of life and patient satisfaction.

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