Predictors of long-term quality of life for survivors of stage II/III rectal cancer in the cancer care outcomes research and surveillance consortium

Mary E. Charlton, Karyn B. Stitzenberg, Chi Lin, Jennifer A. Schlichting, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, Grelda Yazmin Juarez, Jane F. Pendergast, Elizabeth A. Chrischilles, Robert B. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Many patients do not receive guideline-recommended neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for resectable rectal cancer. Little is known regarding long-term quality of life (QOL) associated with various treatment approaches. Our objective was to determine patient characteristics and subsequent QOL associated with treatment approach. Methods: Our study was a geographically diverse population- and health system-based cohort study that included adults age 21 years or older with newly diagnosed stage II/III rectal cancer who were recruited from 2003 to 2005. Eligible patients were contacted 1 to 4 months after diagnosis and asked to participate in a telephone survey and to consent to medical record review, with separate follow-up QOL surveys conducted 1 and 7 years after diagnosis. Results: Two hundred thirty-nine patients with stage II/III rectal cancer were included in this analysis. Younger age (< 65 v ≥ 65 years: odds ratio, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.33 to 4.65) was significantly associated with increased odds of receiving neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. The adjuvant chemoradiotherapy group had significantly worse mean EuroQol-5D (range, 0 to 1) and Short Form-12 physical health component scores (standardized mean, 50) at 1-year follow-up than the neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy group (0.75 v 0.85; P = .002; 37.2 v 43.3; P = .01, respectively) and the group that received only one or neither form of treatment (0.75 v 0.85; P = .02; 37.2 v 45.1; P = .008, respectively). Conclusion: Neoadjuvant treatment may result in better QOL and functional status 1 year after diagnosis. Further evaluation of patient and provider reasons for not pursuing neoadjuvant therapy is necessary to determine how and where to target process improvement and/or education efforts to ensure that patients have access to recommended treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e476-e486
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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