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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prognostic value of changes in quality of life scores in prostate cancer

Digant Gupta*, Donald P Braun and Edgar D Staren

Author Affiliations

Cancer Treatment Centers of America®, 1336 Basswood Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA

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BMC Urology 2013, 13:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-32

Published: 10 July 2013



Several studies in the oncology literature have demonstrated the prognostic value of baseline quality of life (QoL). We investigated whether changes in QoL could predict survival in prostate cancer patients.


We evaluated 250 prostate cancer patients treated at our institution between Jan 2001 and Dec 2009 who were available for a minimum follow-up of 3 months. QoL was evaluated at baseline and after 3 months of treatment initiation using EORTC-QLQ-C30. Cox regression evaluated the prognostic significance of baseline and changes in QoL scores after adjusting for relevant clinical and demographic variables.


Median overall survival was 89.1 months (95% CI: 56.5-121.7). Baseline QoL scale predictive of survival upon multivariate analysis was fatigue (p = 0.001). Associations between changes in QoL and survival, upon multivariate analysis, were observed for dyspnea and cognitive functioning. Every 10-point increase (worsening) in dyspnea was associated with a 16% increased risk of death (HR = 1.16; 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.30, p = 0.02), and every 10-point increase (improvement) in cognitive functioning was associated with a 24% decreased risk of death (HR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.54 to 0.98, p = 0.04).


This study provides preliminary evidence to indicate that prostate cancer patients with better baseline fatigue and patients whose dyspnea and cognitive functioning improves within 3 months of treatment are at a significantly decreased risk of mortality.