Course of Quality of Life After Radiation Therapy for Painful Bone Metastases: A Detailed Analysis From the Dutch Bone Metastasis Study
SourceInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 95, 5, (2016), pp. 1391-8
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
SubjectRadboudumc 14: Tumours of the digestive tract RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
PURPOSE: To study the course of quality of life (QoL) after radiation therapy for painful bone metastases. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The Dutch Bone Metastasis Study randomized 1157 patients with painful bone metastases between a single fraction of 8 Gy and 6 fractions of 4 Gy between 1996 and 1998. The study showed a comparable pain response of 74%. Patients filled out weekly questionnaires for 13 weeks, then monthly for 2 years. In these analyses, physical, psychosocial, and functional QoL domain scores and a score of general health were studied. Mixed modeling was used to model the course of QoL and to study the influence of several characteristics. RESULTS: In general, QoL stabilized after 1 month. Psychosocial QoL improved after treatment. The level of QoL remained stable, steeply deteriorating at the end of life. For most QoL domains, a high pain score and intake of opioids were associated with worse QoL, with small effect sizes (-0.11 to -0.27). A poor performance score was associated with worse functional QoL, with a medium effect size (0.41). There is no difference in QoL between patients receiving a single fraction of 8 Gy and 6 fractions of 4 Gy, except for a temporary worsening of physical QoL after 6 fractions. CONCLUSION: Although radiation therapy for painful bone metastases leads to a meaningful pain response, most domains of QoL do not improve after treatment. Only psychosocial QoL improves slightly after treatment. The level of QoL is related to the actual survival, with a rather stable course of QoL for most of the remaining survival time and afterward a sharp decrease, starting only a few weeks before the end of life. Six fractions of 4 Gy lead to a temporary worse physical QoL compared with a single fraction of 8 Gy.
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