Primary Outcome Measures:
- Disease Progression [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
Patients with incurable cancer frequently ask their doctors for an estimate of survival. Such estimates can assist patients in making decisions about how best to spend their time and energy. Survival estimates are also required when considering patients with incurable cancer for experimental treatments. However, such estimates are difficult to make. There is some data to suggest that a simple clinical measure, the performance status, combined with a laboratory blood test, the LDH, may assist in making the survival estimate more realistic. This study is designed to test if this is the case, using patients with metastatic lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, or pancreatic cancer or patients with cancer of unknown primary who have exhausted life-prolonging therapy. These patients will be asked to consent to entering this study. Their performance status will be assessed by the Karnofsky and WHO scales, they will be asked to have their blood tested for LDH and they and their doctor will be asked to estimate their survival. After study entry they will be allowed to receive palliative radiotherapy, surgery or systemic therapy as indicated including protocol treatment. After study entry, the only other requirement is that the date of the patients death be reported so that the duration of survival can be compared with the doctors and patients estimate and correlated with the performance status and LDH.