A single-center cohort study suggests that electronic monitoring of symptoms is useful for pediatric patients with cancer. The study results were published in JAMA Network Open.

Patient-reported outcome measurements (PROMs) are becoming more widely used in adult oncology trials, according to researchers. However, to date, less than 1% of pediatric clinical trials use PROMs as a primary endpoint.

To adapt PROMs for the pediatric setting, investigators at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria created the ePROtect tool, a web-based approach for daily child self-reporting and parent-based proxy reporting.

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Between 2020 and 2021, patients aged 5 to 18 years or proxies for patients aged 1 to 4 years were trained to use ePROtect.

There were 40 patients in all. The median age was 9.1 years, 65.0% of patients were male, and 100% were White. All patients received standard induction chemotherapy, 11 underwent surgery, and 4 underwent both surgery and radiotherapy.

A total of 4410 daily questionnaires on 7082 therapy days were completed, indicating a median fulfillment of 60.1%. Completion rates were similar across age groups. In general, completion declined after 90 days on therapy (65.6% vs 42.9%).

A total of 251 PROMs were associated with health deterioration and adverse events. Of these, 50.3% led to immediate counsel for symptom management, 34.7% supported medication change, and 15.0% a referral to the emergency department.

Patients reported significantly higher symptom burden with unplanned admissions vs planned admissions.

Researchers found that the ePROtect software was well received and was able to provide early detection of toxic effects and prediction of admissions or medical interventions in the pediatric setting. The major limitation of this study was the lack of a comparator arm.

Disclosures: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Meryk A, Kropshofer G, Hetzer B, et al. Use of daily patient-reported outcome measurements in pediatric cancer care. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2223701. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23701

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor