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Preventing tumor spread may not improve quality of life

Cancer drugs that keep tumors from growing may not lead to better quality of life for patients, a new study suggests. Feng Xie, a professor of health economics at McMaster University, speaks with Reuters Health.

Oct 02, 2018

Cancer drugs that keep tumors from growing may not lead to better quality of life for patients, a new study suggests.

“In countries where patients need to pay co-pays, they can use up all their savings in order to get access to those expensive new drugs and in the end, they may not extend their lives or improve their quality of life,” Feng Xie, a professor of health economics at McMaster University, told Reuters Health.

Xie and colleagues reanalyzed data from nearly 40 randomized trials involving multiple cancer types. They found that “progression-free survival,” or the length of time doctors could keep the cancer under control, was not linked with health-related quality of life.

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