Clustering of EORTC QLQ-C30 health-related quality of life scales across several cancer types: Validation study

Abigirl Machingura*, Mekdes Taye, EORTC Quality of Life Group, Brain tumour, Breast Cancer, Melanoma Group, Lung Cancer, Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma, Lymphoma, Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Genito-Urinary Cancers, and Gynecological Cancer Groups, Jammbe Musoro, Jolie Ringash, Madeline Pe, Corneel Coens, Francesca Martinelli, Dongsheng Tu, Ethan Basch, Yvonne Brandberg, Mogens Grønvold, Alexander Eggermont, Fatima Cardoso, Jan Van Meerbeeck, Winette T.A. van der Graaf, Martin Taphoorn, Jaap C. Reijneveld, Riccardo Soffietti, Jeff SloanGalina Velikova, Henning Flechtner, Andrew Bottomley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) measures 15 health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scales relevant to the disease and treatment of patients with cancer. A study by Martinelli (2011) demonstrated that these scales could be grouped into three main clusters: physical, psychological and gastrointestinal. This study aims to validate Martinelli's findings in an independent dataset and evaluate whether these clusters are consistent across cancer types and patient characteristics. Methods: Pre-defined criteria for successful validation were three main clusters should emerge with a minimum R-squared value of 0.51 using pooled baseline-data. A cluster analysis was performed on the 15 QLQ-C30 HRQoL-scales in the overall dataset, as well as by cancer type and selected patient characteristics to examine the robustness of the results. Results: The dataset consisted of 20,066 patients pooled across 17 cancer types. Overall, three main clusters were identified (R2 = 0.61); physical-cluster included role-functioning, physical-functioning, social-functioning, fatigue, pain, and global-health status; psychological-cluster included emotional-functioning, cognitive-functioning, and insomnia; gastro-intestinal-cluster included nausea/vomiting and appetite loss. The results were consistent across different levels of disease severity, socio-demographic and clinical characteristics with minor variations by cancer type. Global-health status was found to be strongly linked to the scales included in the physical-functioning-related cluster. Conclusion: This study successfully validated prior findings by Martinelli (2011): the QLQ-C30 scales are interrelated and can be grouped into three main clusters. Knowing how these multidimensional HRQoL scales are related to each other can help clinicians and patients with cancer in managing symptom burden, guide policymakers in defining social-support plans and inform selection of HRQoL scales in future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume170
Early online date12 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by an academic grant from the EORTC Quality of Life Group (Grant Number: EORTC CATAPULT 1619). Abigirl Machingura's work as a Fellow at EORTC Headquarters was supported by a grant from the EORTC Cancer Research Fund (ECRF).

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful to the EORTC Headquarters, EORTC Clinical Groups (Quality of Life Group, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Melanoma Group, Lung Cancer, Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma, Lymphoma, Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Genito-Urinary Cancers, and Gynecological Cancer Groups) and the principal investigators involved in the various EORTC trials. The authors are also grateful to Project Data Sphere, Mayo Clinic and Canadian Clinical Trials Group for contributing data to this project. Thanks to Paul Novotny for facilitating the preparation and transfer of data from Mayo Clinic. Finally, special thanks to all the patients who participated in the trials used in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

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