Image_1_Development and Validation of a Score for Screening Suicide of Patients With Neuroendocrine Neoplasms.TIF (243.02 kB)
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posted on 11.06.2021, 04:32 by Lili Lu, Yuru Shang, Dietmar Zechner, Christina Susanne Mullins, Michael Linnebacher, Xianbin Zhang, Peng Gong

Background: If the diagnosis of neuroendocrine neoplasm (NEN) increases the risk of patients to commit suicide has not been investigated so far. Identifying NEN patients at risk to commit suicide is important to increase their life quality and life expectancy.

Methods and findings: Cancer cases were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program and were divided into the NEN and the non-NEN cohorts. Subsequently, the NEN patients were randomly split into a training data set and a validation data set. Analyzing the training data set, we developed a score for assessing the risk to commit suicide for patients with NEN. In addition, we validated the score using the validation data set and evaluated, if this score could also be applied to other cancer entities by using the test data set, a non-NEN cohort. The odds ratio (OR) of suicide between NEN and non-NEN patients was determined. Moreover, the performance of a score was evaluated by the receiver operating characteristic curve and the area under the curve (AUC). Compared to non-NEN, NEN significantly increased the risk of suicide to 1.8-fold (NEN vs. non-NEN; OR, 1.832; P < 0.001). In addition, we observed that age, gender, race, marital status, tumor stage, histologic grade, surgery, and chemotherapy were associated with suicide among NEN patients; and a synthesized score based on these factors could significantly distinguish suicide individuals from non-suicide individuals in the training data set (AUC, 0.829; P < 0.001) and in the validation data set (AUC, 0.735; P < 0.001). This score also had a good performance when it was assessed by the test data set (AUC, 0.690; P < 0.001). This demonstrates that the score might also be applicable to other cancer entities.

Conclusions: This population-based study suggests that NEN patients have a higher risk of suicide than non-NEN patients. In addition, this study provided a score, which can identify NEN patients at high-risk of committing suicide. Thus, this score in combination with current screening and prevention strategies for suicide may improve life quality and life expectancy of NEN patients.