The impact of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder on radiotherapy treatment and overall survival in cancer patients: A matched pair analysis

Max Peters*, Hajo W. Boersma, Peter S. N. van Rossum, Jasper van Oort, Wiepke Cahn, Joost J. C. Verhoeff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: The effect of a psychiatric disorder (PD) on the choice of radiotherapy regimens and subsequent cancer control outcomes is largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated differences in radiotherapy regimens and overall survival (OS) between cancer patients with a PD in comparison with a control population of patients without a PD. Methods: Referred patients with a PD (i.e. schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder) were included through a text-based search of the electronic patient database of all the patients that received radiotherapy between 2015 and 2019 at a single centre. Each patient was matched to a patient without a PD. Matching was based on cancer type, staging, performance score (WHO/KPS), non-radiotherapeutic cancer treatment, gender and age. Outcomes were the amount of fractions received, total dose, and OS. Results: 88 patients with PD were identified; 44 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 34 with bipolar disorder, and 10 with borderline personality disorder. Matched patients without a PD showed similar baseline characteristics. No statistically significant difference was observed regarding the number of fractions with a median of 16 (interquartile range [IQR] 3–23) versus 16 (IQR 3–25), respectively (p = 0.47). Additionally, no difference in total dose was found. Kaplan-Meier curves showed a statistically significant difference in OS between the patients with a PD versus those without a PD, with 3-year OS rates of 47 % versus 61 %, respectively (hazard ratio 1.57, 95 % confidence interval 1.05–2.35, p = 0.03). No clear differences in causes of death were observed. Conclusion: Cancer patients referred for radiotherapy with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder receive similar radiotherapy schedules for a variety of tumour types but attain worse survival.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100618
JournalClinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

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