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Outcomes Examined for Cancer Patients With Psychiatric Disorder Receiving RT

Similar radiotherapy schedules seen for patients with and without psychiatric disorder, but overall survival worse for those with psychiatric illness

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 21, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Cancer patients referred for radiotherapy with a psychiatric disorder (PD) receive similar radiotherapy schedules as those without PD but have worse overall survival, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology.

Max Peters, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined differences in radiotherapy regimens and overall survival between cancer patients with and without a PD (schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder). Data were included for 88 patients with PD: 44 with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 34 with bipolar disorder, and 10 with borderline personality disorder.

The researchers observed no significant difference regarding the number of fractions received (median, 16 for those with and without PD). There was also no difference seen in total dose. In terms of overall survival, there was a significant difference observed between patients with versus without a PD, with three-year overall survival rates of 47 and 61 percent, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.57). There were no clear differences in causes of death observed between the groups.

“Patients with a PD did have a statistically significant worse overall survival, indicating necessary vigilance for this vulnerable population and more research into potentially modifiable factors during oncologic treatment,” the authors write.

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