Project Summary and
There is a well-recognised mismatch
between the perceptions of cancer patients and non-cancer sufferers, in
terms of the benefits of first-line palliative chemotherapy.
Attitudes of patients and doctors to second-line chemotherapy, which
usually has a low response rate and is often toxic and expensive, now
Patients with ovarian cancer, small cell lung cancer and breast cancer,
where second-line chemotherapy is frequently used, will be studied, as
will control groups of normal subjects, General Practitioners and cancer
Subjects will be asked to assess their personal cost-benefit of
second-line chemotherapy by indicating the degree of benefit from a
hypothetical treatment which would be more acceptable.
The influence of prior chemotherapy experience on decision-making will be
assessed, as will the acceptability of best supportive care as an
alternative to second-line chemotherapy.
Re-examination of patients after second-line chemotherapy will be
The investigation aims to measure the clinical efficacy of second-line
chemotherapy in advanced cancer from the recipient's point of view.
Information gained will be useful in the planning of cancer services.
Publications to date:
Balmer, CE, Osborne RJ. Investigating the patient's
perspective of the clinical utility of second-line chemotherapy. Eur J
Onc Nurs 1998: 2; 64-66
Balmer CE, Thomas P, Osborne RJ. Who wants second-line
palliative chemotherapy? Psycho-Oncology 2001; 10: 410-418
Further information can
be obtained from:
Dr Richard Osborne
Consultant in Medical Oncology
Poole Hospital NHS Trust
The Dorset Cancer Centre