To assess impact of outpatient intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy on quality of life (QOL).
Cross sectional study of patients with optimally cytoreduced stage III and IV ovarian cancer who received IP chemotherapy between 2006 and 2011 at a single institution. A self administered, anonymous survey assessed 4 domains: physical health (PH), mental health (MH), social health (SH) and patient subjective sense of worth (WO) of IP chemotherapy.
Seventy-one participants were mailed surveys. 52 (73.2%) returned the survey, 4 were excluded (incomplete) and 48 (67.6%) were included in the final sample. Mean age was 62.4 (±10.3). Mean time from completion of chemotherapy was 30.8 months. In the PH domain, 50.0% reported that fatigue severely affected QOL. Other aspects were pain (39.6%), GI problems (37.5%) and “chemotherapy brain” (29.2%). In the MH domain, 25% reported significant stress and 20.8% experienced anxiety. In the SH domain, 27.5% reported therapy interfered with work. The majority (83.3%) reported the effectiveness of IP chemotherapy was “worth” the side effects, 95.8% did not regret it, and 87.5% would recommend it to a friend. Eleven patients had recurrent disease, of whom 90% indicated IP chemotherapy was worthwhile and none regretted the decision to receive this therapy.
IP chemotherapy has been shown to improve OS and PFS and yet is not universally prescribed. It is known to have more toxicities compared to IV chemotherapy. The present study suggests that while these side effects affect QOL, patients feel that the therapy is worthwhile and do not regret treatment.
Winthrop-University Hospital, Mineola, NY
Financial Disclosure: The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.