Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1807–1814 | Cite as

Potential curability and perception of received information in esophageal cancer patients

  • Eleonora Pinto
  • Francesco Cavallin
  • Luca Maria Saadeh
  • Maria Cristina Bellissimo
  • Rita Alfieri
  • Silvia Mantoan
  • Matteo Cagol
  • Carlo Castoro
  • Marco ScarpaEmail author
Original Article



This study aimed to evaluate patients’ perceived receipt of information according to the possibility of cure in esophageal cancer.


One hundred and twelve consecutive patients presenting at the multidisciplinary visit at the Veneto Institute of Oncology for esophageal cancer between 2014 and 2016 were included in the study. The Italian version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality of life questionnaires C30 (core questionnaire), OG25 (esophago-gastric cancer module), and INFO25 (information module) were used.


Candidates for palliative treatment were less informed about the disease (adjusted mean difference − 11.5, 95% CI − 23.0 to − 0.02) and less satisfied with information provided (adjusted mean difference − 18.3, 95% CI − 31.9 to − 4.7) than candidates for curative treatment. In addition, candidates for palliative treatment wanted to receive more information than candidates for curative treatment (adjusted mean difference 26.1, 95% CI 0.5 to 51.6). Better quality of life was associated with satisfaction of received information (β = 0.77, p < 0.0001) and of receiving information about things that the patient can do to help himself (β = 0.26, p = 0.04). More anxiety was associated to receiving more information about disease (β = 0.46, p = 0.02) but less information about things that the patient can do to help himself (β = − 0.38, p = 0.02).


Candidates for palliative treatment were less satisfied with information about the disease and wanted to receive more information. Additionally, some aspects of quality of life were found to be associated with perceived receipt of information. Appropriate training in communication of prognostic information may improve clinical management of incurable cancer patients.


Esophageal cancer Quality of life Information Communication Cancer management 



This study was supported by a grant from Berlucchi Foundation (Brescia, Italy) to Carlo Castoro. Funding sources had no involvement in study design, data collection and analysis, or write up.

The authors are also grateful to Ms. Christina Drace (Language Revision Service, Veneto Institute of Oncology IOV-IRCCS, Padua, Italy) for her kind help in the final editing of the manuscript.

Preliminary results were presented in the poster sessions during ESDE 2015 at Stockholm, Sweden and DDW 2016 at San Diego, CA, USA.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

520_2017_4005_FIG2_ESM.gif (11 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1

Quality of life and functioning scales (a) and symptoms scales (b): means of C30 and OG25 selected scales. (GIF 10 kb)

520_2017_4005_MOESM1_ESM.tif (2 mb)
High resolution (TIFF 2028 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleonora Pinto
    • 1
  • Francesco Cavallin
    • 1
  • Luca Maria Saadeh
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Bellissimo
    • 1
  • Rita Alfieri
    • 1
  • Silvia Mantoan
    • 1
  • Matteo Cagol
    • 1
  • Carlo Castoro
    • 1
  • Marco Scarpa
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Esophageal and D igestive Tract Surgical Unit, Regional Centre for Esophageal DiseaseVeneto Oncological Institute (IOV-IRCCS)PadovaItaly

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