Similar Quality of Life in Inpatient Versus Outpatient Chemotherapy for Carcinoma

Researchers in Taiwan found that health-related quality of life (QoL) and adverse events were similar in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) who received either inpatient or outpatient chemotherapy, suggesting that outpatient treatment is clinically safe.

This study enrolled 107 adult patients with ESCC who underwent either inpatient chemotherapy (IPCT) or outpatient chemotherapy (OPCT). There were 53 patients in the IPCT cohort and 54 in the OPCT group. Median age of participants was 58 years. Almost 85% had either stage III or IV disease and each patient received at least three cycles of chemotherapy.

QoL of each group was assessed via the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 Items (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the Oesophageal Cancer Module (EORTC QLQ-OES18). Differences in adverse events (AE) were also evaluated. Questionnaires and AE evaluations were conducted one week after chemotherapy.

The results of the QoL assessment showed that overall scores were similar between either chemotherapy group, as well as scores from functional and symptom scales. There was also no statistically significant difference in AEs between the two groups. Most AEs were grade 1-2 and were tolerated. No patients experienced treatment-related deaths.

According to the investigators, limitations of the study include the relatively small sample size, patients being treated at a single institution, varied treatment timing among patients, and timing of QoL data. Larger studies are warranted to validate these results.

This study was published in the journal healthcare.