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13-09-2009 | Gynaecology | Article

Quality of life issues in ovarian cancer chemotherapy ‘treatable’


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Many of the quality of life issues experienced by women undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer may be addressed using symptom management and psychosocial support, US study findings indicate.

Vivian von Gruenigen, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and colleagues administered the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Ovarian (FACT-O) to 361 stage III or IV ovarian cancer patients following surgery and before cycle 4 of intravenous paclitaxel and cisplatin chemotherapy.

The team compared women in the lowest quartile (Q1) with those in the highest quartiles (Q2–4) for the FACT-O domains of physical, functional, social, and emotional well being (PWB, FWB, SWB, and EWB, respectively).

The results demonstrated that women in Q1 were significantly more likely to select nausea, pain, feeling ill, and being bothered by the side effects of treatment from the PWB options, being able to work, being content with quality of life, and sleeping well on the FWB options, and feeling nervous and worrying about dying on the EWB opyions.

There were no significant differences in the selection of items on the SWB. Low interest in sex was reported by 56–88 percent of patients from Q1–Q4.

“By targeting and improving specific quality of life areas, there could be global improvements that have the potential to improve overall survivorship,” the team says.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2009

By Liam Davenport