LINE 5: QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE NEOPLASTIC PATIENT

Coordinators of the scientific report: A. Pace - M.G. Paggi

This Line is oriented to the study of quality of life (QoL), rehabilitation, drug-induced toxicity and gender medicine of the cancer patient. The outcomes of oncological disease and cancer treatments and their influence on QoL will be studied with particular attention to fragile (elderly) populations, long survivors and the role of gender medicine. Patient-based evaluation tools and oncological rehabilitation strategies oriented to the recovery of complex disabilities will be studied. Research in this area aims to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of toxicity and to define therapeutic strategies for prevention. The toxicities induced by radiotherapy treatments, in particular on the Central Nervous System and those on the Peripheral Nervous System induced by numerous anticancer drugs, require clinical studies to identify risk factors and drug trials for prevention and therapeutic purposes. Oncological rehabilitation, aimed at the recovery of motor, functional, psychological and social disabilities as a result of oncological disease and its treatments, represents a field of research of great interest that requires the definition of appropriate multidimensional assessment tools and the testing of multidisciplinary models of care aimed at the treatment of complex disabilities (cognitive functions, fertility, sexuality, fatigue). The increase in the effectiveness of cancer treatments and the increase in the number of long term cancer treatments help to make the issues of quality of life and cancer rehabilitation critical. Measuring the impact of treatments on QoL requires a better definition of patient-based tools for monitoring QoL and the impact of treatments, particularly in fragile populations. The interest in these outcome measures is linked both to the issue of patient centrality and to the evident limits of traditional end-points (PFS, OS-toxicity) in clinical trials. All the studies described above will also be analysed and interpreted from a gender perspective, taking into account not only sex but many gender-related variables. The Research Line will also develop experiments in the field of palliative and supportive care with the aim of promoting guidelines and recommendations for treatment in the advanced stages of illness and at the end of life.