The EORTC QLQ-C30 summary score as prognostic factor for survival of patients with cancer in the "real-world": Results from the population-based PROFILES registry

Olga Husson, Belle H de Rooij, Jacobien Kieffer, Simone Oerlemans, Floortje Mols, Neil K Aaronson, Winette T A van der Graaf, Lonneke V van de Poll-Franse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review



Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been shown to be a prognostic factor for cancer survival in randomized clinical trials and observational "real-world" cohort studies; however, it remains unclear which HRQoL domains are the best prognosticators. The primary aims of this population-based, observational study were to (a) investigate the association between the novel European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core30 (QLQ-C30) summary score and all-cause mortality, adjusting for the more traditional sociodemographic and clinical prognostic factors; and (b) compare the prognostic value of the QLQ-C30 summary score with the global quality of life (QoL) and physical functioning scales of the QLQ-C30.

Materials and mehods: 

Between 2008 and 2015, patients with cancer (12 tumor types) were invited to participate in PROFILES disease-specific registry studies (response rate, 69%). In this secondary analysis of 6,895 patients, multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to investigate the association between the QLQ-C30 scores and all-cause mortality.


In the overall Cox regression model including sociodemographic and clinical variables, the QLQ-C30 summary score was associated significantly with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.77; 99% confidence interval [CI], 0.71-0.82). In stratified analyses, significant associations between the summary score and all-cause mortality were observed for colon, rectal, and prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and multiple myeloma. The QLQ-C30 summary score had a stronger association with all-cause mortality than the global QoL scale (HR, 0.82; 99% CI, 0.77-0.86) or the physical functioning scale (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.77-0.85).


In a real-world setting, the QLQ-C30 summary score has a strong prognostic value for overall survival for a number of populations of patients with cancer above and beyond that provided by clinical and sociodemographic variables. The QLQ-C30 summary score appears to have more prognostic value than the global QoL, physical functioning, or any other scale within the QLQ-C30.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Oncologist
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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