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The impact of docetaxel-related toxicities on health-related quality of life in patients with metastatic cancer (QoliTax)

Al-Batran S-E, Hozaeel W, Tauchert FK, Hofheinz R-D, Hinke A, Windemuth-Kieselbach C, et al.

Ann Oncol. 2015 Jun;26(6):1244-8.

©PubMed Central



Docetaxel is a widely used cytotoxic agent. This study evaluates the impact of docetaxel toxicities on patient's health-related quality of life (QoL).


We conducted a multicenter, prospective, non-interventional trial, in which the QoL was assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaires at baseline and every 4 weeks up to 40 weeks in patients receiving a docetaxel-based chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Treatment-related adverse events were correlated with the corresponding QoL scores. Uni- and multivariate analyses were applied.


From January 2008 to June 2011, a total of 2659 patients were included. The majority of patients (48.1%) had prostate cancer, followed by breast (17.1%) and non-small-cell-lung cancer (15.8%). Patients received a median of 5 docetaxel cycles with the median dose of 75 mg/m(2). The presence of grade 3/4 diarrhea showed the strongest effect on global health status/QoL average scores (50.91 versus 33.06), followed by vomiting (50.91 versus 35.17), dyspnea (50.94 versus 35.81), mucositis/stomatitis (50.88 versus 36.41), nausea (50.91 versus 36.68), infection (50.90 versus 37.14), fatigue (50.90 versus 43.82) and anemia (50.91 versus 41.03), P < 0.05 for all comparisons. Grade 3/4 leukopenia/neutropenia, alopecia, constipation, neurotoxicity and nail disorders had no significant impact on the global health status/QoL or other items.


In this large non-interventional trial, docetaxel-associated grade 3 or 4 toxicities were shown to have a strong detrimental effect on patient's QoL. Notably, diarrhea and vomiting had the strongest negative impact on QoL measures. This has to be kept in mind while making therapeutic decisions and providing optimized supportive treatment measures.


This study was registered at Deutsches Krebsstudienregister (DKSR, primary registry in the WHO Registry Network) with the ID 527.

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.



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