In a nutshell
This study evaluated the quality of life reported by elderly patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) after a stem cell transplant (SCT). The authors concluded that quality of life for these patients was very good following SCT.
Autologous SCT is the standard of care in first-line treatment for eligible patients with NHL. This procedure involves collecting healthy stem cells from the patient's blood. Then, high-dose chemotherapy is given to get rid of any remaining cancer cells. After treatment, the stem cells are reintroduced to the patient to help make new healthy cells.
Previous studies have shown that autologous SCT is safe and well-tolerated in elderly patients with NHL. However, few studies have looked at how SCT affects quality of life. Quality of life is a way to assess the physical, emotional, and social health of a patient. The impact of autologous SCT on quality of life for elderly patients with NHL is unclear.
Methods & findings
This study included 47 patients with NHL aged 60 or older. 36% of patients had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 34% had follicular lymphoma, and 19% had mantle cell lymphoma. All patients were given two questionnaires about their quality of life after undergoing SCT.
The EQ-5D questionnaire assessed difficulties with mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression. 41% of patients reported having no issues in any of the five categories. 47% of patients reported having pain or discomfort. Few patients reported having problems with self-care. 4% of patients reported having issues in all 5 categories of the questionnaire.
The FACT-BMT questionnaire assessed physical well-being, social and family well-being, emotional well-being, and functional well-being. A high overall score means a high quality of life. The average overall score was 161/200. Physical and emotional well-being were the two categories with the highest average scores (27/28 and 22/28). Social well-being and functional well-being both scored 21/28, on average.
Cancer recurrence (relapse) was significantly associated with anxiety and poorer functional well-being. At the time of the questionnaires, 15% of patients experienced relapse.
The bottom line
This study concluded that the quality of life of elderly patients with NHL is very good after autologous SCT. However, relapse can increase anxiety and affect the functional well-being of patients.
The fine print
This study had a small number of patients. Only a few different types of NHL were included, so these results may not apply to all patients. Quality of life was also not evaluated before the transplant, which may limit these results.
Published By :
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Sep 12, 2019
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