The following article features coverage from the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Early decline in quality-of-life (QOL) may be linked to later decline in QOL among patients with prostate cancer who receive definitive radiotherapy, according to the results of a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

In this study, 979 patients treated for prostate cancer with radiotherapy were analyzed for patient-reported outcomes regarding QOL. Quality of life was assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC)-26 questionnaire, which was given to the patients. The researchers used responses on the EPIC-26 to assign scores with the EPIC-Clinical Practice (EPIC-CP) tool.

The EPIC-CP tool contains 5 domains, each scored from 0 to 12: urinary incontinence, urinary irritation/obstruction, bowel, sexual, and vitality/hormonal. Evaluations for minimal clinically important difference (MCID) were conducted at 1 to 2 months and at 24 months using the EPIC-CP tool, and relationships between the early and late QOL data were analyzed with univariate statistics.

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Of the patients in this study, 444 received stereotactic body radiotherapy, 284 received low-dose rate brachytherapy, and 251 received intensity-modulated radiotherapy.

Overall, an early MCID change of 1 or more in EPIC-PC score from baseline appeared to be associated with a similar MCID change in the later EPIC-PC score. This pattern held across all 5 domains of the EPIC-CP tool and for the total EPIC-CP score. In this analysis, the odds ratio for the total score was 4.6 (95% CI, 2.7-8.0), and odds ratios for each of the EPIC-CP domains indicated associations between early and late declines for each.

The researchers concluded that early QOL declines were linked to later declines in this patient population, and they recommended that patients showing early QOL decline be considered for interventions early on to reduce toxicity burden over time.

Disclosures: Multiple authors declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.

Read more of our coverage of the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium by visiting the conference page.


Parzen JS, Quinn TJ, Thompson AB, et al. Evaluating the correlation between early and late quality-of-life declines using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite for Clinical Practice (EPIC-CP) after definitive stereotactic body radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, or brachytherapy for prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 6):abstr 214. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.6_suppl.214