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ESMO 2022: Second-Line Therapy for Advanced Biliary Cancer and Quality of Life

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2022

Combination treatment with second-line active symptom control plus oxaliplatin and fluorouracil chemotherapy (FOLFOX) may improve the quality of life for patients with advanced biliary tract cancers, according to a poster presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2022 (Abstract 54MO). However, continued efforts analyzing the benefits of FOLFOX on quality of life and its cost-effectiveness are warranted, explained Angela Lamarca, MD, PhD, MSc, of the Fundacion Jimenez Diaz University Hospital, Madrid, and colleagues.  

A total of 138 patients with advanced biliary tract carcinoma who were previously treated with a combination of cisplatin and gemcitabine were recruited for the phase III ABC-06 trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive standard therapy for active symptom control (n = 65) or active symptom control therapy plus FOLFOX (n = 73). Patients were administered both the Euroqol EQ-5D and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-30 and QLQ-BIL21 questionnaires prior to treatment and 4 months after treatment began. Patients who completed the questionnaires in their entirety were considered for the study.

The study findings revealed that patients who received treatment with active symptom control alone demonstrated worsening scores on the EQ-5D and the social, physical, role, and global scales of the QLQ-30. These individuals also reported worsening of pain and nausea. In contrast, patients who received active symptom control therapy plus FOLFOX maintained stabilization of their quality of life and health values as determined by their questionnaires. Furthermore, the pain and nausea they experienced also remained stable.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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