With increasing emphasis on patients’ voices, EuropaColon, a European CRC patient organization, conducted a cross-sectional European survey on unmet needs in mCRC, in 12 countries. The aim was to better understand the challenges, needs and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The objective of this work is to report the preliminary results for Hungary (HU), Poland (PL), Serbia (RS) and Spain (ES).
IRB approval was obtained. Clinicians, and nurses with partner organizations of EuropaColon recruited patients. The survey had two sections: treatment-related information and HRQoL. The former comprised questions on timing of diagnosis/treatment, multidisciplinary team discussion (MDT), type of treatments received, and information on treatments and side-effects. Both paper-based and on-line completion were available. Single data entry was done by EuropaColon. Descriptive analyses were carried out in Excel. No imputation of missing data was done.
548 surveys were analyzed. Completion rates were high. Most responders were treated in public hospitals and 85-92% in HU, ES and PL and 57% in RS were undergoing treatment at the time. Most patients (82%) received treatments within 3 months after diagnosis with CRC, 16% within first 2 weeks. 60% underwent MDT discussion and were informed about the outcome. Proportions however varied between countries, with lowest for PL (46%) and highest for RS (74%). Proportion of patients feeling their views were considered prior starting treatment varied (from 30% in RS to 83% in HU). Most patients had surgery and chemotherapy (83% and 91%), 21% radio- and 9% targeted therapy. Specific therapies however were not given in 13-23% of cases. Patients were relatively informed about side effects (73%). A fifth of patients received molecular test, from a low 6% in RS up to 34% in PL.
Among mCRC patients in HU, ES, RS and PL the degree of information varies. Patients know about MDT and are informed about potential side effects. However, the specific treatment is not well known, and molecular testing is rare. Variations across countries need to be investigated further. Study limitations include cross-sectional design and single data entry.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Merck, BMS, Sandoz, Sirtex.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.