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What are different measures of performance status?

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Key concept

Performance status is a measure of functional capacity that is used as a clinical parameter to estimate survival in cancer patients.1 There are two metrics—Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS)—used by oncologists and other medical professionals and for entry into clinical trials.1,2

Clinical scenario

A 58-year-old woman with metastatic pancreatic cancer is unable to perform self-care and requires aid with daily activities of living, including bathing herself. She presents for follow-up with her oncologist. What is her performance status?

Action items

See Table below

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References
  1. Zubrod CG, Schneiderman M, Frei E, et al. Appraisal of methods for the study of chemotherapy of cancer in man: comparative therapeutic trial of nitrogen mustard and triethylene thiophosphoramide. J Chron Dis 1960;11(1):7-33.

  2. Oken MM, Creech RH, Tormey DC, et al. Toxicity and response criteria of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Am J Clin Oncol 1982;5:649-55.

How do I address fertility in young patients who plan to receive chemotherapy?

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Key concept

The treatment of cancer in patients of reproductive age can be associated with the risk of infertility.

Clinical scenario

A 34-year-old woman was started on rituximab-DA EPOCH treatment for a primary B cell lymphoma of the mediastinum after diagnosis and completion of a staging work-up. She completed 6 courses of chemotherapy. Six months later, she became pregnant and delivered a healthy baby.

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