(HealthDay News) — Cancer patients with psychiatric disorders have worse overall survival (OS) after radiotherapy, despite receiving similar radiotherapy regimens as cancer patients without psychiatric disorders, according to a study published in Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology.

Researchers examined radiotherapy regimens and OS in 88 cancer patients with a psychiatric disorder and 88 matched cancer patients without a disorder. Of the patients with a psychiatric disorder, 44 had schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 34 had bipolar disorder, and 10 had borderline personality disorder.

To compare the radiotherapy regimens between the groups, the researchers assessed the amount of fractions received and the biologically equivalent dose in 2 Gy fractions (EQD2). There was no difference in the median number of fractions received (16 in both groups; P =.47). There was no difference in EQD2, with a median of 48 Gy in both groups for late toxicity (P =.18) and 45 Gy in both groups for tumor control/acute toxicity (P =.77).

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On the other hand, there was a significant difference in OS between the groups. The 1-year OS rate was 68% in patients with a psychiatric disorder and 77% in patients without a psychiatric disorder. The 3-year OS rate was 47% and 61%, respectively. The 5-year OS rate was 37% and 56%, respectively (P =.03). There were no clear differences in causes of death observed between the groups.

“[P]atients with a PD [psychiatric disorder] did have a statistically significant worse OS, indicating necessary vigilance for this vulnerable population and more research into potentially modifiable factors during oncologic treatment,” the researchers wrote.

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