Despite grim prognoses and aggressive treatments, cancer patients suffering from malignant gliomas -- primary brain tumors -- often rate their quality of life more optimistically than their caregivers do, according to a new Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine study.
The research suggests how important it is for caregivers to speak up if there is something more to be said, said Daniel Jacobs, a clinical researcher at Feinberg and lead author of the paper. "A caregiver may help to give a more complete clinical picture," he said.
Jeffrey Raizer, M.D., senior author of the paper, has seen many brain cancer patients for years. He says patients often rise to the occasion when they see their doctor and may minimize their symptoms. "You may ask a patient if he is tired and he says, 'No,'" Raizer said. "Then the caregiver will say, 'But you are sleeping 20 hours a day.' So, there is a disconnect. The patient tells you one thing and the caregiver says another." It was this observation that led to the design of the trial.
Raizer is co-director of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute, associate professor of neurology at Feinberg and director of medical neuro-oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The study will be presented June 6 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting.
Similar quality of life studies have been done on patients with other types of cancer, but it is important to understand specifically how patients with malignant gliomas and their caregivers respond, Raizer said.
"Brain tumors may affect people a lot more than say lung cancer and breast cancer in terms of their personality, language function and their functional ability to do things," Raizer said. "Brain tumors change people in many ways."
For the study, 19 patients recently diagnosed or re-diagnosed with grade 3 or 4 malignant gliomas filled out a questionnaire about their quality of life, rating physical, emotional, functional and social well-being. The same questionnaire was filled out by caregivers -- family members, significant others or close friends. The questionnaires were given out every two months when the patients were accompanied by their caregivers in the clinic for an MRI.
"It is not just about treating a patient with chemotherapy, but also understanding the psychosocial aspects patient are dealing with," Raizer said. "Better understanding allows positive interventions to occur."
The study is titled "Quality of life concordance between patients with malignant gliomas and their caregivers." It was funded by the American Brain Tumor Association.
Erin White | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy