Esophageal cancer and its treatment can cause serious morbidity/toxicity. These effects on healthrelated quality of life (HRQOL) can be measured using disease-specific scales such as FACT-E, generic scales such as EQ-5D-3L, or through symptoms. In a two-year cross-sectional study, we compared HRQOL across esophageal cancer patients treated in an ambulatory clinic and across multiple disease states, among patients with all stages of esophageal cancer. Consenting patients completed FACT-E, EQ-5D, a visual analog scale, and patient reported (PR)-ECOG. Symptom complexes were constructed from FACT-E domains. Responses were categorized by disease state: pre-, during, and post-treatment, surveillance, progression, and palliative chemotherapy. Spearman correlation and multivariable linear regression characterized these associations. In total, 199 patients completed 317 questionnaires. Mean FACT-E and subscale scores dropped from baseline through treatment and recovered during post-treatment surveillance (P < 0.001); EQ-5D health utility scores (HUS) displayed a similar pattern but with smaller differences (P = 0.07), and with evidence of ceiling effect. Among patients with stage II/III esophageal cancer, mean EQ-5D HUS varied across disease states (P < 0.001), along with FACT-E and subscales (P < 0.001). Among patients with advanced disease, there was no significant difference between baseline and on-treatment total scores, but improved esophageal cancer-specific scales were noted (P = 0.003). Strong correlation was observed between EQ-5D and FACT-E (R = 0.73), along with physical and functional subscales. In addition, the association between FACT-E and EQ-5D HUS was maintained in a multivariable model (P < 0.001). We interpret these results to suggest that in a real-world clinic setting, FACT-E, EQ-5D HUS, and symptoms were strongly correlated. Most HRQOL and symptom parameters suggested that patients had worse HRQOL and symptoms during curative therapy, but recovered well afterwards. In contrast, palliative chemotherapy had a neutral to positive impact on HRQOL/symptoms when compared to their baseline pre-treatment state.
- esophageal cancer
- health utilities
- health-related quality of life
ASJC Scopus subject areas