gms | German Medical Science

MAINZ//2011: 56. GMDS-Jahrestagung und 6. DGEpi-Jahrestagung

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie e. V.

26. - 29.09.2011 in Mainz

Quality of life in long-term survivors of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer – First results from the CAESAR-study

Meeting Abstract

  • Volker Arndt - Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research (C070), Heidelberg
  • Lena Koch - Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research (C070), Heidelberg
  • Heike Bertram - Cancer Registry of North Rhine-Westphalia (Münster region), Münster
  • Andrea Eberle - Bremen Cancer Registy, Bremen
  • Sieglinde Schmid-Höpfner - Hamburg Cancer Registry, Hamburg
  • Christa Stegmaier - Saarland Cancer Registry, Saarbrücken
  • Annika Waldmann - Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Luebeck, Lübeck
  • Sylke Zeissig - Cancer Registry Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz
  • Hermann Brenner - Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research (C070), Heidelberg

Mainz//2011. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds), 6. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie (DGEpi). Mainz, 26.-29.09.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11gmds604

doi: 10.3205/11gmds604, urn:nbn:de:0183-11gmds6040

Published: September 20, 2011

© 2011 Arndt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: The CAESAR-study (Cancer Survivorship – a multi-regional population-based study) was started in October 2008 to study important quality of life aspects in long-term survivors (5+ years) after diagnosis of breast, colorectal or prostate cancer.

Methods: The study is based on a joint analysis of several population-based samples of cancer survivors from various cancer registries across Germany (Bremen, Hamburg, Münster/North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein). Potential study participants were identified by the participating cancer registries. Depending on the federal legislation, potential study participants were either contacted directly by the cancer registry or the treating physician. The questionnaire included internationally validated standardized instruments (e.g. EORTC Quality of Life Core Questionnaire, Fatigue Assessment Questionnaire, Geriatric Depression Scale, Benefit Finding Scale, Post Traumatic Growth Inventory). It was planned that a total of approximately 6.700-7.000 survivors would be eligible and participate.

Results: The recruitment started in August 2009 and lasted until April 2011. As contacting patients in the context of an epidemiological study was sort of virgin soil for several participating registries, time consuming hearings with the relevant state authorities were necessary. As a consequence, the recruitment period ended about 12 months later than expected. Despite this delay, the actual number of over 7.100 cancer survivors who filled out the questionnaire exceeded the anticipated number of 6.700-7.000 participants. Depending on the region specific recruitment schemes up to 88% of all contacted survivors completed the questionnaire. First results from the Saarland VERDI cohort, a cohort which has been repeatedly contacted over the first ten years after diagnosis, indicate that long-term cancer survivors experience more restrictions in role, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning than controls from the general population. Further in-depth analysis as well as results from the other regions will be presented in the network meeting.

Conclusions: Our preliminary results indicate that quality of life is a topic of high relevance for long-term survivors. Furthermore, detriments in psychosocial functioning persist over years even in cancer survivors considered to be cured.