McCaffrey N, Asser T, Fazekas B, Muircroft W, Agar M, Clark K, Eckermann S, Lee J, Joshi R, Allcroft P, Sheehan C, Currow DC.
This analysis aims to evaluate health-related quality of life (HrQoL) (primary outcome for this analysis), nausea and vomiting, and pain in patients with inoperable malignant bowel obstruction (IMBO) due to cancer or its treatments randomised to standardised therapies plus octreotide or placebo over a maximum of 72 h in a double-blind clinical trial.
Adults with IMBO and vomiting recruited through 12 services spanning inpatient, consultative and community settings in Australia were randomised to subcutaneous octreotide infusion or saline. HrQoL was measured at baseline and treatment cessation (EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL). Mean within-group paired differences between baseline and post-treatment scores were analysed using Wilcoxon Signed Rank test and between group differences estimated using linear mixed models, adjusted for baseline score, sex, age, time, and study arm.
One hundred six of the 112 randomised participants were included in the analysis (n = 52 octreotide, n = 54 placebo); 6 participants were excluded due to major protocol violations. Mean baseline HrQoL scores were low (octreotide 22.1, 95% CI 14.3, 29.9; placebo 31.5, 95% CI 22.3, 40.7). There was no statistically significant within-group improvement in the mean HrQoL scores in the octreotide (p = 0.21) or placebo groups (p = 0.78), although both groups reported reductions in mean nausea and vomiting (octreotide p < 0.01; placebo p = 0.02) and pain scores (octreotide p < 0.01; placebo p = 0.03). Although no statistically significant difference in changes in HrQoL scores between octreotide and placebo were seen, an adequately powered study is required to fully assess any differences in HrQoL scores.
The HrQoL of patients with IMBO and vomiting is poor. Further research to formally evaluate the effects of standard therapies for IMBO is therefore warranted.