Quality of Life Assessment in Multiple Myeloma Patients Undergoing Dose-Reduced Tandem Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation
Khalafallah, A and McDonnell, K and Dawar, HU and Robertson, I and Woods, D, Quality of Life Assessment in Multiple Myeloma Patients Undergoing Dose-Reduced Tandem Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation, Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases, 3, (1) Article e2011057. ISSN 2035-3006 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Few studies exist that consider health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) undergoing tandem autologous stem cell transplantation (TASCT). Eighteen patients with advanced MM who underwent dose-modified TASCT were enrolled in this study between March 2006 and March 2008. Patients <60 year old (10) received conditioning with melphalan 140 mg/m(2) and patients who were ¡Ý60 years (8) received 100 mg/m(2). The median age was 57.5 years (range 35-69). We conducted the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and the QLQ-MY24 questionnaires via interviews at presentation, after each ASCT and thereafter every 3 months for 24 months. Mean global health measure improved from 3.44 before transplant to 4.50 (1=very poor, 7=excellent) at the second and subsequent follow-up visits (P<0.001) and the mean global quality of life score improved from 3.61 to 4.71 (P<0.001). Pain symptoms were reduced (P=0.001), and physical functioning improved (P<0.001) throughout the period of post-transplant follow-up. Our study showed that dose-reduced TASCT is well tolerated with low toxicity albeit the transient reduction in QoL during both transplants. Post-transplant follow-up showed significant improvement in overall HR-QoL that reflects positively on the overall disease-outcome. Furthermore, a sole focus on patient-survival does not adequately provide indication regarding the tolerability and effectiveness of a proposed treatment on the patient's perceived quality of life. As clinicians, our primary concern should be toward patient-welfare as well as survival. Therefore, we should employ the tools of QoL in conjunction with overall survival in order to deliver the best possible patient outcomes. The EORTC-QLQ-MY24 is a practical tool in measuring QoL in myeloma patients.