Patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer spend about 15% of their time addressing health care needs, and this time burden can have a negative effect on their quality of life, according to research presented at the 2023 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.1

In this study, researchers evaluated “time toxicity,” or the treatment-related time burden patients experience. The value for time toxicity was reported as a percentage calculated by dividing the total number of days spent at health care facilities by the total number of days spent on treatment. 

The study included 75 patients with a median age of 67.0 years. About half of patients had recurrent endometrial cancer (52.0%), and the other half had stage III or IV disease (48.0%). Most patients (85.3%) were still receiving treatment, which included cytotoxic chemotherapy (30.7%), immunotherapy (25.3%), treatment on a clinical trial (13.3%), hormone therapy (8.0%), and radiation (8.0%).

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Results showed that patients spent 15% of their time on health care. Roughly half of health care visits involved receiving 1 type of health care service (such as imaging or an infusion) rather than a combination of services.

The treatment with the highest time toxicity was radiation (29.9%). This was followed by cytotoxic chemotherapy (16.9%), clinical trial participation (14.4%), immunotherapy (13.5%), and hormone therapy (5.7%). 

The researchers also found a significant decrease in quality of life with increasing time burden (P <.01).

“Patient-centered outcomes are important to consider as we make difficult treatment decisions in the recurrent setting,” study presenter Sarah A. Ackroyd, MD, of the University in Chicago in Illinois, said in a statement.2  

“Time toxicity is a potential new outcome measure that can help us understand the treatment-related time demands our patients experience. I hope that this framework can be further developed and used to improve the workflow of cancer care and the quality of life of our patients.” 

Disclosures: Dr Ackroyd reported having no conflicts of interest.


1. Ackroyd SA, Kurnit KC, Koripelly A, Zoleta C, Yamada D, Lee NK. Time is of the essence – defining time toxicity in patients on treatment for advanced/recurrent endometrial cancer. SGO 2023. March 25-28, 2023. 

2. Gynecologic cancer patients report time-related burdens and financial toxicities impact quality of life. News release. Society of Gynecologic Oncology. Published March 23, 2023.