Prognostic Markers of Overall Survival in Cancer Patients Attending a Cachexia Support Service: An Evaluation of Clinically Assessed Physical Function, Malnutrition and Inflammatory Status

Kelcey A. Bland, Eva M. Zopf, Meg Harrison, Matthew Ely, Prue Cormie, Enwu Liu, Anna Dowd, Peter Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Cancer cachexia is a muscle-wasting syndrome that results in physical function impairments and decreased survival. While body weight and muscle mass loss predict survival, the prognostic significance of physical function in this population is unclear. Thus, we evaluated the association between physical function, and other routine measures, and overall survival (OS) in cancer patients attending a cachexia support service. Methods: Physical function was clinically-assessed using the 30 s sit-to-stand test and handgrip strength. Six-month weight loss, the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) total score, C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, and quality of life were also evaluated. Results: Records from 203 patients (age: 68.6 ± 11.6 years) were included. Handgrip strength did not predict OS. Sit-to-stand repetitions predicted OS in the single variable, but not the multivariable analysis. Multivariable results suggested higher PG-SGA total scores (HR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01–1.07), six-month weight loss (HR: 1.02, 95% CI: 1.004–1.04), and elevated CRP (HR: 1.004, 95% CI: 1.0004–1.01) predicted shorter OS. Higher albumin predicted longer OS (HR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.90–0.97). Conclusion: Six-month weight loss, the PG-SGA total score, CRP, and albumin independently predicted survival, while physical function did not. Functional impairments remain a hallmark of cancer cachexia and the benefit of their routine assessment warrants further exploration, especially in relation to patient quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Early online date6 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • cachexia
  • Physical function
  • cachexia support service

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