Oral chemotherapy and patient perspective in solid tumors: a national survey by the Italian association of medical oncology



To assess patient perception toward oral chemotherapy for solid tumors, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology performed a large multi-institutional national survey.


A 17-item anonymous questionnaire including 7 general and 10 investigational questions with free-text, single-choice, or multiple-choice answers was administered. Analysis of response distribution according to predefined factors was described by summary measures and conducted by χ2 test and other nonparametric tests.


From January to June 2010, 581 patients completed the questionnaire; data of 404 patients constituted the final study sample. Three groups could be distinguished according to treatment: IV chemotherapy (IV group, n = 313), oral chemotherapy (oral group, n = 48), or combined therapy (combined group, n = 43). Thirty-one (72%) patients in the combined group and 187 (60%) in the IV group expressed preference for oral therapy (p = 0.028). Limitations in family and work commitment were more frequently perceived by patients on IV than oral chemotherapy (147 (47%) vs 14 (29%) patients, p<0.05, and 134 (43%) vs 11 (23%) patients, p<0.05). A total of 134 (43%) patients on IV chemotherapy versus 15 (31%) patients in the oral group did not point out any limitation for number of tablets per day (p = 0.004).


We observed a propensity from the patient perspective in favor of oral chemotherapy that was considered to have a lower impact on family and work commitments than IV chemotherapy. The treatment that patients were taking when the questionnaire was administered likely influenced their perception and related results.

Tumori 2016; 102(1): 108 - 113




Gaetano Aurilio, Stefania Gori, Franco Nolè, Giancarlo Pruneri, Francesca Coati, Valter Torri, Gianluigi Lunardi, Francesco Atzori, Nicla La Verde, Giuseppe Luigi Banna, Antonio Rossi, Lucia Del Mastro, Francesca Di Fabio, Ilaria Marcon, Vittorio Gebbia, Fotios Loupakis, Laura Orlando, Libero Ciuffreda, Placido Amadio, Gabriele Luppi, Stefania Redana, Gianfranco Filippelli, Annalisa Gentile, Elena Collovà

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Medical Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan - Italy
  • Department of Oncology, Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital, Verona - Italy
  • Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, European Institute of Oncology, University of Milan School of Medicine, Milan - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital, Verona - Italy
  • Oncology Department, Institute of Pharmacology Research “Mario Negri,” Milan - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, University Hospital, Cagliari - Italy
  • Department of Oncology, AO Fatebenefratelli e Oftalmico, Milan - Italy
  • Division of Medical Oncology, Cannizzaro Hospital, Catania - Italy
  • Division of Medical Oncology, “S.G. Moscati” Hospital, Avellino - Italy
  • Sviluppo Terapie Innovative, IRCCS AOU San Martino, Genova - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, Varese - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, Università di Palermo, Palermo - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, Polo Oncologico-Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Pisa - Italy
  • Medical Oncology & Breast Unit, Antonio Perrino Hospital, Brindisi - Italy
  • S.C. Oncologia Medica, A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza-Molinette, Torino - Italy
  • S.C. Oncologia Medica, ARNAS Garibaldi, Catania - Italy
  • Day Hospital Oncologico, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Modena - Italy
  • Oncologia Medica, FPO-IRCCS Università di Torino, Candiolo, Torino - Italy
  • Oncologia Medica, P.O. di Paola-A.S.P. di Cosenza, Paola, Cosenza - Italy
  • Medical Oncology, Ospedale Civile “Spirito Santo,” Pescara - Italy
  • Division of Medical Oncology, Hospital of Legnano, Legnano, Milan - Italy

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