Researchers Tapped Thomson Reuters Community of Cancer Patients for Studies To Be Reported at American Society of Clinical Oncology Conference
Ability to Survey Patients With Specific Diagnoses Sheds Light on Quality of Life Issues
Ann Arbor, MI . – Three studies to be reported at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting used Thomson Reuters Cancer Profiler tools to gain insights into the adverse effects of treatment for head and neck cancers and lung cancer.
The studies were conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia, East Carolina University, the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, North Shore LIJ Health System in Lake Success, N.Y. and the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. The ASCO Annual Meeting runs from May 30–June 3 in Chicago.
Researchers used Internet-based surveys administered by Thomson Reuters to gain insights into the experiences of 233 patients undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer and 660 lung cancer patients.
They found that mucositis is the most severe side effect reported by patients being treated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. Mucositis manifests itself in mouth sores, throat soreness, dry mouth and a change in taste. Fifty-four percent of the patients responding to the survey required hospitalization for complications of mucositis such as the inability to eat or drink. In a related study, these symptoms were identified as the most common reason for interruption of radiation therapy.
”The aggressive treatment of cancer can cause debilitating side effects that profoundly affect quality of life and even set back treatment,” said Vivek Mehta, MD, of the Swedish Cancer Institute. “It is critical for us to understand precisely what patients are going through so we can improve the treatment experience, and ultimately, the outcome. The Thomson Reuters Profiler tools have been a vital resource in our quest to fully understand the patient experience.”
Researchers also used the Thomson Reuters’ online cancer tool to explore quality of life issues affecting lung cancer patients. Respondents said their top concerns were maintaining an overall good quality-of-life, staying independent and not being a burden to others. Surprisingly, these issues ranked higher than pain, fatigue and depression.
Thomson Reuters Profiler tools provide patients with detailed information about the treatment options for their specific diagnoses. They have been used by more than 1 million people on Web sites of the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and other healthcare organizations. Many patients who use the Profiler tools sign up to receive information about clinical trials, treatment updates and patient surveys — such as those to be reported at ASCO.
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