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Cancer Patients' Adverse Event Reports Useful Measure

Study finds patient reports are complementary to reports submitted by clinicians

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Asking cancer patients to self-report adverse events as a result of treatment yields information that is different and complementary to that provided by clinicians in their adverse event reports, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ethan Basch, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a study of 163 patients with lung cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy, who were enrolled for an average of 12 months, and who completed Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events reports during clinic visits.

The researchers found that, while the patients submitted reports for 80 percent of their visits, their clinicians submitted reports 95 percent of the time, and comparison of the reports showed that patients usually reported symptoms earlier and more often than their doctors. There was a statistically significant association between clinicians' reports of fatigue, nausea and constipation and emergency rooms admissions and deaths, but this was not the case for patient reports, the data revealed.

"Longitudinally collected clinician Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events assessments better predict unfavorable clinical events, whereas patient reports better reflect daily health status," the authors write. "These perspectives are complementary, each providing clinically meaningful information. Inclusion of both types of data in treatment trial results and drug labels appears to be warranted."

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