Cancer and its treatments produce adverse symptoms on patients that can persist even after treatment is completed. Adverse symptoms can also lead to delays or discontinuation of cancer treatment, which decrease treatment effectiveness and increase the risk of recurrence and death. In short: safety and tolerability are fundamental to the effectiveness of cancer therapies.
Evidence shows that symptom reports may lose accuracy when filtered through clinicians and may miss adverse events that occur between patient visits. Patient reporting of symptoms and functioning, including symptomatic toxicity, has measurable value.
With these facts in mind, DCCPS led the development of PRO-CTCAE® in collaboration with NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, Division of Cancer Prevention, and Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology. PRO-CTCAE® allows patients to self-report the frequency, severity, and presence or absence of symptoms using a library of 124 items representing 78 symptomatic toxicities. The tool helps providers choose the best treatments for patients and has become the standard for patient-reported toxicity in cancer clinical trials around the world.