Gender Neutral
Type Module
Testing Phase I / II - in development
Principal investigator(s)
Olga Husson
Netherlands Cancer Institute & RMH/ICR
London, United Kingdom
, Winette van der Graaf
Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam & , Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Study coordinator(s)
Dide den Hollander
Netherlands Cancer Institute
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Project summary

Although sarcoma patients have higher survival rates with different treatments, they often experience side-effects and psychosocial issues that negatively impact health-related quality of life(HRQoL) during and long after treatment. Therefore, it is important to assess treatment  effectiveness in terms of subjective patient reported outcomes including HRQoL as well. Generic HRQoL instruments are available, but questionnaires capturing all of the unique experiences of sarcoma patients are currently lacking. To be able to develop a HRQoL instrument specifically for sarcoma-patients, this study aims to provide insight into the relevant HRQoL issues in this patient-group. Furthermore, we will investigate how to design the questionnaires.

In the first phase of this study, phase 1a, we will compile an exhaustive list of HRQoL issues relevant to sarcoma patients in phase 1a. In the process of compiling the list, three sources will consecutively consulted: (1) a systematic review of the literature/drug-related documentation, (2) patients (N=154) and (3) health care professionals (N=30). During the interviews, patients and HCPs will also be asked to review existing HRQoL questionnaires for topic and item relevance. The respondents will also be asked to identify HRQoL issues that they believe to be important that are not included in the current core questionnaires.

In phase 1b, we will present the newly created list of HRQoL issues to another group of sarcoma patients (N=475) and health care professionals (N=30) and ask them to rate the issues on relevance and to prioritize the most important issues. Patients are also asked to complete the EORTC QLQ-C30 and a supplementary site specific questionnaire about HRQoL issues.


Literature review and interview analysis for phase 1a have been completed and based on their results the issue list for phase 1b is finalized.

A literature review paper and study protocol paper are published.


Phase 1a (generation of HRQoL issues) completed;

Phase 1b (rating issues on relevance and importance) about to start

Future plans

May 2021- April 2022: second round of patient and HCP interviews (phase 1b)
February 2022: statistical analyses and writing phase 1 report with recommendation on how to move forward with assessment of QoL in sarcoma patients.

If you are interested to collaborate in phase 1b and help recruiting patients with sarcoma, please contact Olga Husson:

For patients

Symptoms and side effects of sarcoma and its treatment(s) may have an impact on a patient’s well-being. However, there is currently no way to measure quality of life specifically in sarcoma patients. We would like to find out how the diagnosis with a sarcoma has affected patients physically, socially and emotionally in order to develop a questionnaire about quality of life and symptom burden for sarcoma patients. This questionnaire will allow future research to understand the patient’s perspective on how the disease and treatments affect their lives. We aim to recruit approximately 630 patients internationally and conduct interviews and ask patients to complete and rate questionnaires.


Conference abstract:
1) CTOS 2019: Poster presentation: trial design

1) den Hollander D, Van der Graaf WTA, Fiore M, Kasper B, Singer S, Desar IME, Husson O. Unravelling the heterogeneity of soft tissue and bone sarcoma patients’ health-related quality of life: a systematic literature review with focus on tumour location. ESMO Open. 2020; 5(5):e000914
2) den Hollander D, Fiore M, Martin-Broto J, Kasper B, Casado Herraez A, Kulis D, Nixon I, Sodergren SC, Eichler M, van Houdt WJ, Desar IME, Ray-Coquard I, Piccinin C, Kosela-Paterczyk H, Miah A, Hentschel L, Singer S, Wilson R, van der Graaf WTA, Husson O. Incorporating the patient voice in sarcoma research: how can we assess health-related quality of life in this heterogeneous group of patients? A study protocol. Cancers. 2020; 13(1):1. doi: 10.3390/cancers13010001