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Early results of quality of life for curatively treated rectal cancers in Chinese patients with EORTC QLQ-CR29

Junjie Peng1, Debing Shi1, Karyn A Goodman2, David Goldstein3, Changchun Xiao1, Zuqing Guan1 and Sanjun Cai1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cancer Hospital Fudan University, Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA

3 Department of Medical Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia

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Radiation Oncology 2011, 6:93  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-6-93

Published: 12 August 2011



To assess the quality of life in curatively treated patients with rectal cancer in a prospectively collected cohort.


Patients with stage I-III rectal cancer who were treated curatively in a single institution were accrued prospectively. Quality of life was assessed by use of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer questionnaire module for all cancer patients (QLQ-C30) and for colorectal cancer patients (QLQ-CR29). Quality of life among different treatment modalities and between stoma and nonstoma patients was evaluated in all patients.


A total of 154 patients were assessed. The median time of completion for the questionnaires was 10 months after all the treatments. For patients with different treatment modalities, faecal incontinence and diarrhea were significantly higher in radiation group (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001, respectively), and no difference in male or female sexual function was found between radiation group and non-radiation group. For stoma and nonstoma patients, the QLQ-CR29 module found the symptoms of Defaecation and Embarrassment with Bowel Movement were more prominent in stoma patients, while no difference was detected in scales QLQ-C30 module.


Our study provided additional information in evaluating QoL of Chinese rectal cancer patients with currently widely used QoL questionnaires. As a supplement to the QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-CR29 is a useful questionnaire in evaluating curatively treated patients with rectal cancer. Bowel dysfunction (diarrhea and faecal incontinence) was still the major problem compromising QoL in patients with either pre- or postoperative chemoradiotherapy.