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palliative care

Impact of Palliative Care on End-of-Life Services for Patients Dying in a Hospital

In a single-center retrospective analysis reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Wiesenthal et al found that among patients dying in a hospital, those with palliative care in place at final admission received less diagnostic testing and other services not associated with promoting patient...

palliative care

Effect of Embedding Palliative Care in an Oncology Clinic

A retrospective analysis reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice by Einstein et al showed the benefits of embedding palliative care in a clinic specializing in targeted and immune-based treatments in patients with melanoma or renal cancer. Study Details The study included data from 114...

palliative care
hematologic malignancies

Lack of Access to Transfusions Limits Hospice Use by Patients With Blood Cancer

A new survey finds that doctors would refer more patients with incurable blood cancers to hospice for end-of-life care if they could receive transfusions, which are generally not available because of hospice reimbursement policies. The findings, published by Odejide et al in Cancer, help explain...

palliative care

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in End-of-Life Care for Patients With Ovarian Cancer

A study using linked Texas Cancer Registry–Medicare data has identified racial/ethnic disparities in end-of-life care in women with ovarian cancer. The study was reported by Taylor et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Study Details The study included 3,666 patients dying in 2000 to...

palliative care

Use of ‘Triggers’ for Palliative Care Consultation on Solid Tumor Oncology Service

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Adelson et al found that using standardized criteria for palliative care consultation on a solid tumor oncology service resulted in increased hospice referral and reduced rates of hospital readmission and chemotherapy use after discharge....

palliative care

Pediatric Oncology Patient and Parent Attitudes on Early Palliative Care Integration

Few pediatric oncology patients or their parents expressed negative attitudes toward early integration of palliative care during cancer treatment, according to a study by Levine et al reported in JAMA Oncology. Study Details The study involved completion of surveys by 129 patient-parent dyads...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Consultations for Patients With Advanced Cancers May Reduce Hospitalization and Improve Quality of Care

Patients admitted to the hospital with advanced cancers who were referred early to palliative care had decreased health-care utilization and increased use of support services following discharge, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Published...

palliative care
symptom management

Palliative Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases: Update of an ASTRO Evidence-Based Guideline

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recently published an updated clinical guideline that underscores the safety and effectiveness of palliative radiation therapy for treating painful bone metastases. Based on recent clinical trial data, the guideline recommends optimal radiotherapy ...

palliative care

Patient Coaching and End-of-Life Discussions in Advanced Cancer

As reported by Rodenbach et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a patient coaching session for patients with advanced cancer prior to an oncologist visit made it more likely that patients would discuss their prognosis during the visit. However, prognosis was still infrequently discussed. Study ...

palliative care

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Palliative Care Into Standard Oncology Care

As reported by Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, of the City of Hope Medical Center, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, ASCO has released a clinical practice guideline update on the integration of palliative care into standard oncology care. This update of a 2012 ASCO provisional clinical...

palliative care

Benefit of Early Integrated Palliative Care in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Incurable Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Temel et al found that early integration of palliative care resulted in better quality of life and reduced depression in patients with newly diagnosed incurable lung or noncolorectal gastrointestinal cancer. Outcomes differed by cancer type. ...

palliative care

ESMO Asia 2016: Study Validates Set of Six Adaptable Prognosis Prediction Models for Patients With Cancer in Palliative Care Settings

A routine blood test may predict how long patients with cancer in palliative care will survive, researchers reported at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore. “Cancer patients in palliative care want honest and accurate prognostic information but this information needs to be shared...

palliative care
hematologic malignancies

Effect of Inpatient Palliative Care on Quality of Life After Stem Cell Transplant

Integrating palliative care into the treatment of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for cancers like leukemia and lymphoma can improve their quality of life, relieve symptoms associated with the procedure, and reduce depression and anxiety, not only during the 3- to 4-week ...

palliative care
issues in oncology
symptom management

Prolonged Length of Stays, Readmissions, and Discharge to Care Facilities Among Postoperative Patients With Advanced Cancer

Patients with disseminated advanced cancer who undergo surgery are far more likely to endure long hospital stays and readmissions, referrals to extended care facilities, and death, University of California (UC) Davis researchers have found. Their study, published by Bateni et al in PLOS One,...

palliative care

ESMO 2016: Researchers Identify Factors Associated With End-of-Life Chemotherapy Use

The rates of administering chemotherapy to patients with solid cancers within a month of succumbing to their disease remain high, which calls for a paradigm shift to consider initiating palliative care at an earlier stage and formulating clear guidelines for end-of-life care, according to findings...

solid tumors
palliative care

Philippe Rochigneux, MD, on Solid Tumors: Use of Chemotherapy Near End of Life (French Language Version)

Philippe Rochigneux, MD, of the Paoli Calmettes Institute, Marseille Cancer Center, discusses in French his findings on the high rates of chemotherapy used at the end of life for metastatic solid cancer, especially in young patients treated in high-volume centers without a palliative care unit....

solid tumors
palliative care

Philippe Rochigneux, MD, on Solid Tumors: Use of Chemotherapy Near the End of Life

Philippe Rochigneux, MD, of the Paoli Calmettes Institute, Marseille Cancer Center, discusses his findings on the high rates of chemotherapy used at the end of life for metastatic solid cancer, especially in young patients treated in high-volume centers without a palliative care unit. (Abstract...

palliative care

Palliative Care 2016: Rehospitalization of Patients With Advanced Cancer in the Year After Diagnosis

Among individuals with advanced cancer, frequent hospitalization is often at odds with patient preference and is increasingly viewed as a hallmark of poor quality care. Hospitalization contributes substantially to costs and regional spending variation in this population, but patterns and reasons...

palliative care

Palliative Care 2016: Attitudes of ASTRO Members Toward Palliative and Supportive Care in the United States

Radiation oncologists are frequently involved in providing palliative and supportive care for patients with advanced cancers through delivery of palliative radiation. Whether they are confident in their ability to assess and initiate treatments for pain, nonpain, and psychosocial distress is...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care 2016: Usage of Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act

In 1997, Oregon enacted a voter initiative allowing terminally ill residents to self-administer physician-prescribed medication to end their lives called the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (ORDWDA). Statute requires prescriptions written for lethal medications be reported; the state also collects...

palliative care
hematologic malignancies
supportive care

Palliative Care 2016: Inpatient Palliative Care in Patients Hospitalized for HSCT

During hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), patients sometimes experience physical and psychological symptoms that negatively impact their quality of life. Researchers led by Areej El-Jawahri, MD, Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care 2016: Perception of Curability in Patients With Advanced Cancer Receiving Palliative Care

There are limited data on the illness understanding and perception of curability among patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care around the world. In a study led by Sriram Yennu, MD, MS, Associate Professor in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at The...

palliative care
supportive care
issues in oncology

Randy L. Wei, MD, PhD, on Radiation Oncologists and Palliative Care

Randy L. Wei, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Irvine, discusses findings from a survey that focused on ASTRO members who assessed their ability to deliver palliative and supportive care, and their access to continuing medical education on the topic (Abstract 105).

palliative care
issues in oncology

Sriram Yennu, MD, on Patient Perception of Curability

Sriram Yennu, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses findings from a study of an international cohort of patients with advanced cancer who received palliative care. Nearly half the patients incorrectly believed their cancer was curable (Abstract 5).

palliative care
symptom management

Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc, on Radiotherapy-Induced Oral Complications

Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and scope of oral complications of radiation therapy.

palliative care
issues in oncology

Jennifer S. Temel, MD, on The Changing Conversation Around Prognostication

Jennifer S. Temel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses increasing prognostic uncertainty in light of targeted treatments and immunotherapies, and the difficulty predicting who will benefit.

palliative care

Scott A. Irwin, MD, PhD, on Dealing With Delirium

Scott A. Irwin, MD, PhD, of Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, discusses delirium—its definition, prevalence, consequences, assessment, and management.

palliative care

Eric Roeland, MD: Expert Perspective on Palliative Care in Oncology Meeting Highlights

Eric Roeland, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses the key papers presented at this year’s Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium.

global cancer care
issues in oncology
palliative care

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN, on Cultural Differences in End-of-Life Care

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN, of the University of New Mexico, discusses health disparities and cultural differences in palliative and end-of-life care, with case study examples drawn from American Indian communities.

hematologic malignancies
supportive care
palliative care

Eileen Danaher Hacker, PhD, APN, AOCN: After Stem Cell Transplant: Enhancing Recovery With Strength Training

Eileen Danaher Hacker, PhD, APN, AOCN, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, discusses study findings that show improvement in physical activity, fatigue, muscle strength, and functional ability (Abstract 190).

palliative care

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, on Referrals for Hospice Care: A Quality Improvement Approach

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, of OhioHealth, discusses hospice care as a measure of quality, and findings that show medical oncologists doubled the median length of hospice service from 20 days to 40 days (Abstract 45).

palliative care
symptom management

Joseph A. Greer, PhD, on An App for Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy

Joseph A. Greer, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the development of a mobile application to address treatment adherence and symptoms (Abstract 104).

palliative care
supportive care
hematologic malignancies

Areej El-Jawahri, MD, on Hematologic Malignancies: Integrating Palliative Care in Treatment

Areej El-Jawahri, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses ways in which palliative care can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, reduce depression and anxiety, and potentially optimize end-of-life care for patients with hematologic malignancies.

palliative care
issues in oncology

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, on Supporting Family Caregivers: The ENABLE Model

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discusses the “hidden” health-care workforce of family caregivers and what clinicians can do to help ease the burden on families.

pain management
global cancer care
palliative care

James F. Cleary, MD, on Global Access to Opioids

James F. Cleary, MD, of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, talks about the many reasons that 80% of the world’s population lacks access to opioids, the mainstay of cancer pain management.

palliative care
symptom management

Tracy A. Balboni, MD, MPH, on Managing Spinal Metastases With Radiation Therapy

Tracy A. Balboni, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, talks about how to preserve quality of life in the presence of complex spinal lesions, including novel ways to assess spinal instability and treat metastases.

palliative care
pain management
supportive care

Eduardo Bruera, MD, on Managing Opioid Use in Patients With a History of Addiction

Eduardo Bruera, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the need for outpatient palliative care programs to monitor and support these complex patients and their family members.

palliative care
issues in oncology

Charles D. Blanke, MD, on Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act

Charles D. Blanke, MD, of the Oregon Health & Science University and Southwest Oncology Group, discusses the nearly 20 years’ experience with Oregon’s Death With Dignity (DWD) Act, a voter initiative that led to the first such law enacted in the United States (Abstract 44).

palliative care

Palliative Care 2016: 'Mystery Shopper' Study Finds Barriers to Accessing Palliative Care Services at Major Cancer Centers

A team of researchers, using a novel approach, found that while many cancer centers offer palliative and supportive care services, patients may face challenges when trying to access them. The study showed that expanding awareness and education to patient-facing cancer center employees about such...

palliative care

Palliative Care 2016: Family Caregivers for Patients With Advanced Cancer Often Experience High Levels of Anxiety, Depression

A new multistate survey showed that nearly one-quarter to one-third of family caregivers of patients with high-mortality cancers experience high levels of depression and anxiety symptoms. The study also found that family caregivers can spend over 8 hours per day providing care and that as this time ...

palliative care

Palliative Care 2016: Early Palliative Care Improves Coping, Quality of Life for Patients With Incurable Cancers

A randomized clinical trial found that introducing palliative care shortly after a diagnosis of certain metastatic cancers greatly increases a patient’s coping abilities, as well as overall quality of life. Researchers also found that early integration of palliative care results in an...

palliative care

Palliative Care 2016: Cancer Caregivers Experience Unique Burdens Compared With Those Caring for Patients With Other Conditions

An analysis of data from more than 1,200 caregivers in the United States finds that cancer caregivers report a higher burden and spend significantly more hours per week caregiving, as opposed to individuals who care for people with other conditions. The analysis was based on survey data from the...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Hematologic Oncologists Surveyed on Quality Measures of End-of-Life Care and Barriers to Such Care

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Odejide et al surveyed hematologic oncologists to identify acceptable end-of-life-care quality measures and asked the clinician to identify barriers to such care. Respondents considered unrealistic patient expectations the top barrier to...

palliative care

Despite Increasing Global Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide, Use Remains Rare

Despite increasing legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide worldwide, the practices remain relatively rare and, when carried out, are primarily motivated by psychological factors such as loss of autonomy or enjoyment of life, rather than physical pain. A new comprehensive...

palliative care

Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, on End-of-Life Care: Impact of the Choosing Wisely Campaign

Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses the substantial overuse of aggressive medical care for younger patients at the end of life, despite ASCO recommendations (Abstract  LBA10033).

palliative care
issues in oncology

ASCO 2016: Many Younger Cancer Patients Receive Aggressive End-of-Life Care Despite ASCO’s Choosing Wisely Campaign

An analysis of health claims data from 2007­–2014 on more than 28,000 patients under the age of 65 found that a large proportion of patients with advanced solid tumors received at least one form of aggressive care within the last 30 days of life. The study was presented by Chen et al at...

integrative oncology
palliative care

Eric Roeland, MD, and Jennifer S. Temel, MD, on Integrative Palliative and Oncology Care

Eric Roeland, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, and Jennifer S. Temel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discuss findings that showed the benefits of offering palliative care integrated with oncology care (Abstracts 10003 and 10131).

palliative care

ASCO 2016: Early Palliative Care Provides Benefits for Family Caregivers of Patients With Cancer

A randomized clinical trial found that introducing palliative care shortly after a cancer diagnosis results in better quality of life and fewer symptoms of depression among family caregivers. According to the authors, the study is the first to show that early palliative care alone for a...

palliative care
issues in oncology
global cancer care

Site of Death, Health-Care Utilization, and Hospital Expenditures for Patients Dying With Cancer in Developed Countries

In a study reported in JAMA, Bekelman et al assessed the site of death, health-care utilization, and hospital expenditures among patients aged ≥ 65 years dying with cancer in Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States. The United States had lower...

palliative care

2015 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium Highlights

The Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, held October 9–10, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts, brought together more than 670 members of the cancer care community, including oncologists, radiologists, palliative care specialists, nurses, and patient advocates. Sessions delivered information on...

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