Debulking, when combined with standard systemic therapy, did not have a significant negative effect on the overall quality of life in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. This was revealed in a study published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. However, the study also found that patients who underwent the debulking procedure experienced serious adverse events at a rate twice as high as those who received standard treatment.
- The primary goal was to maintain a satisfactory health-related quality of life in the palliative treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
- The study, led by Lotte Bakkerus, MD, from the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences in the Netherlands, aimed to assess the OS benefit and the impact on health-related quality of life.
- 300 patients with multiorgan metastatic colorectal cancer were randomly assigned to either tumor debulking combined with first-line palliative systemic therapy (148 patients) or standard systemic therapy alone (152 patients).
- The results indicated no significant differences in health-related quality of life or fatigue between the two groups.
- After one year of treatment, there were no significant differences in health-related quality of life in both groups.
- However, serious adverse events were observed in 43% of patients in the debulking group, compared to 21% in the standard therapy group.
- Bakkerus commented that the complications’ negative impact on quality of life might be temporary and could balance out with a decrease in tumor-related symptoms post-treatment. She also mentioned that patients might adjust their perceptions of health-related quality of life during their disease and treatment course.
Bakkerus emphasized the need for further exploration, given the significant complications from local treatment without a noticeable dip in patients’ perceived quality of life. She suggested that these findings, including the risk of complications, should be considered during consultations to make informed treatment decisions tailored to individual patients.