gms | German Medical Science

68th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
7th Joint Meeting with the British Neurosurgical Society (SBNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

14 - 17 May 2017, Magdeburg

Would you do it again? Therapy of malignant glioma patients from the caregiver's perspective

Meeting Abstract

  • Clara Backhaus - Universitätsklinik Düsseldorf, Neurochirurgische Klinik, z.Hd. Fr. PD Dr. Rapp , Düsseldorf, Deutschland
  • Michael C. Sabel - Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Neurochirurgische Klinik, Düsseldorf, Deutschland
  • Hans-Jakob Steiger - Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Neurochirurgische Klinik, Düsseldorf, Deutschland
  • Marcel Alexander Kamp - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Medizinische Fakultät, Duesseldorf, Deutschland
  • Marion Rapp - Neurochirurgie Uniklinik Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Society of British Neurological Surgeons. 68. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), 7. Joint Meeting mit der Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS). Magdeburg, 14.-17.05.2017. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2017. DocMi.22.05

doi: 10.3205/17dgnc516, urn:nbn:de:0183-17dgnc5168

Published: June 9, 2017

© 2017 Backhaus et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objective: Due to consequent and aggressive combination of resection, radio- and chemotherapy, survival of malignant brain tumor patients has been increased in the last years. Therapy decisions after tumor recurrence are mainly made individually depending on the clinical status as well as on the patients and their relatives will. Often side effects are accepted and possible gained life time outbalances reduction of quality of life. Finally patient’s relatives have to cope with enormous burden during the course of therapy especially when adjuvant therapy is changed to palliative assistance. Therefore, we were interested if the caregivers would still support therapy decisions in the course of therapy with their background knowledge and different perspective they gain after the patients dead.

Methods: A questionnaire focusing on medical-, logistic-, support- and symptom control was sent to caregivers of malignant brain tumor patients after their death. Clinical data were retrospectively correlated with the caregiver appreciation expressed in the questionnaire.

Results: Between 2010 and 2016 183 brain tumor patients died, who were treated at the neurooncological department. Till now we received 87 (69 anaplastic glioma patients, 18 extra axial brain tumors) answered surveys. 56 patients (64.4%) died in a hospice, hospital or palliative ward and 28 patients (32.2%) died at home. Overall 52 caregivers were content with general support, 49 did not regret final therapy decisions. Regarding the last applied therapy schemes, most caregivers were content with resection (n=12, 92.3%) and chemotherapy (n=37, 71.2%) and would retry these therapies, whereas 58.3% (n=7) would refuse radiotherapy. 65 caregivers (77.4%) would deny further intensified therapy. False hopes were mainly raised by radiotherapy (53.8%) and chemotherapy (52.7%), compared to surgery (30.8%). 55.4% stated that all together therapy effects overweighed the side effects. 32.2% claimed that they would need further assistance for the patients as well as for the caregivers during palliative care.

Conclusion: As far as we can see the majority is content by the chosen therapies and would make the same decision again. Concerning the different therapeutic schemes radiotherapy seems to be associated with the highest subjective side effects.