Chemotherapy for end-of-life ovarian cancer patients is a complex and delicate problem. We evaluated whether active palliative chemotherapy is beneficial for such patients using inflammatory parameters, nutritional indicators, and the PPI (Palliative Prognostic Index), which predicts short-term prognosis.
Thirty-six patients among 49 patients who died from ovarian cancer from 2014 to 2019 at our hospital were enrolled, whom clinical and laboratory data just before starting their final chemotherapy regimen could be obtained. Associations between the time from last chemotherapy to death and the following parameters were investigated: age, performance status, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet/lymphocyte ratio, Modified Glasgow Prognostic Score (mGPS), Prognostic Nutritional Index (PNI) score, and PPI score.
The median age was 57 (range 19-80) years. The median time from last chemotherapy to death was 45.5 (range 11-110) days. Eight patients (22%) died within 30 days of their last chemotherapy regimen. In univariate analysis, median survival time was significantly shorter in patients with higher NLR, mGPS 2, and higher PPI values; NLR (≥ median vs. < median): 32 (range 11-80) days vs. 54 (range 35-110) days, p = 0.008; mGPS (2 vs. 0-1): 42 (range 11-80) days vs. 96 (range 49-110) days, p = 0.012; and PPI score (≥ median vs. < median): 38 (range 11-74) days vs. 60 (range 18-110) days, p = 0.005. However, in multivariate analysis, no factors were identified as independent prognostic factors for survival.
Parameters, such as NLR, mGPS, and PPI score, may be indicators for discontinuation of palliative chemotherapy, and may be useful for maximizing end-of-life care for ovarian cancer patients.

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.