The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status is a powerful and succinct method of classifying the condition of a patient with malignancy. The ECOG score of a patient is very well correlated with mortality.

  • ECOG of 0: patient is fully active and has no new limitations
  • ECOG of 1: patient is ambulatory and able to do light activities
  • ECOG of 2: patient is ambulatory and able to self-care, and remain up for over 50% of waking hours
  • ECOG of 3: patient is confined to a bed or a chair and up less than 50% of waking hours
  • ECOG of 4: patient is confined to a bed or a chair
  • ECOG of 5: patient is dead

Correlation with mortality

One recent palliative radiation oncology study has demonstrated the following 1-year overall survival (OS) for each ECOG score. It should be noted that these figures are likely only applicable to patients who are being palliated for metastatic disease. Patients who were diagnosed with having a malignancy but who are in remission probably have significantly higher survival rates.

  • ECOG of 0: 75% overall survival at 1 year
  • ECOG of 1: 60% overall survival at 1 year
  • ECOG of 2: 25% overall survival at 1 year
  • ECOG of 3: 9% overall survival at 1 year
  • ECOG of 4: 0% overall survival at 1 year

References

Carsten Nieder, Kent Angelo, Astrid Dalhaug, Adam Pawinski, Ellinor Haukland, Jan Norum. Palliative radiotherapy during the last month of life: Predictability for referring physicians and radiation oncologists. Oncology Letters 10: 3043-3049 (September 2015)