Cui-Xia Qiao, Xiao-Feng Zhai, Chang-Quan Ling, Qing-Bo Lang, Hui-Juan Dong, Qun Liu, Mou-Duo Li, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital Affiliated to the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China.
To investigate and evaluate the change in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by tumor node metastasis (TNM) staging system in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
A total of 140 patients diagnosed with HCC between June 2008 and April 2009 in our department were enrolled to this study. One hundred and thirty-five (96.5%) patients had liver cirrhosis secondary to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, 73 (54.07%) of them being HBV DNA positive; the other etiologies of liver cirrhosis were alcoholic liver disease (1.4%), hepatitis C (1.4%) or cryptogenic (0.7%). All subjects were fully aware of their diagnosis and provided informed consent. HRQoL was assessed before treatment using the functional assessment of cancer therapy-hepatobiliary (FACT-Hep) questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate demographics and disease-specific characteristics of the patients. One-way analysis of variance and independent samples t tests were used to compare the overall FACT-Hep scores and clinically distinct TNM stages. Scores for all FACT-Hep items were analyzed by frequency analyses. The mean scores obtained from the FACT-Hep in different Child-Pugh classes were also evaluated.
The mean FACT-Hep scores were reduced significantly from TNM Stage I to Stage II, Stage IIIA, Stage IIIB group (687 ± 39.69 vs 547 ± 42.57 vs 387 ± 51.24 vs 177 ± 71.44, P = 0.001). Regarding the physical and emotional well-being subscales, scores decreased gradually from Stage I to Stage IIIB (P = 0.002 vs Stage I; P = 0.032 vs Stage II; P = 0.033 vs Stage IIIA). Mean FACT-Hep scores varied by Child-Pugh class, especially in the subscales of physical well-being, functional well-being and the hepatobiliary cancer (P = 0.001 vs Stage I; P = 0.036 vs Stage II; P = 0.032 vs Stage IIIA). For the social and family well-being subscale, only Stage IIIB scores were significantly lower as compared with Stage I scores (P = 0.035). For the subscales of functional well-being and hepatobiliary cancer, there were significant differences for Stages IIΙ, IIIA and IIIB (P = 0.002 vs Stage I).
HRQoL of patients with HCC worsens gradually with progression of TNM stages. The most impaired subscales of HRQoL, as measured by FACT-Hep, were physical and emotional well-being.