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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).

Issues in Oncology
Palliative Care

Hematologic Oncologists Surveyed on Quality Measures of End-of-Life Care

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Oreofe O. Odejide, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and colleagues surveyed hematologic oncologists to identify acceptable end-of-life-care quality measures and barriers to such care. Respondents considered unrealistic patient...

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

Integrating Early Palliative Medicine Into Oncology Care to Improve Patients’ Quality of Life

At the 2015 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium in Boston, Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, Chief in the Division of Palliative Care and Geriatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Palliative Care, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School,...

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
Issues in Oncology

Aggressive Treatment at the End of Life Continues to Be Common

Oncologists in the United States may need to improve their efforts to reduce unnecessary care for younger patients with terminal cancer over the last 30 days of life, based on the findings of a study reported at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting.1 Contrary to recommendations, aggressive care is still...

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

Earlier Hospice Enrollment, Avoiding ICU Admissions, and Not Dying in the Hospital Associated With Perceptions of Better End-of-Life Care

Three measures of aggressive end-of-life care “were associated with relatively large differences in family member–reported quality ratings for end-of-life care and a lower likelihood that patients with advanced-stage cancer received care congruent with their preferences,” according to a study in...

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...

palliative care
cost of care

Kerin B. Adelson, MD, on Improving End-of-Life Planning and Reducing Futile Care

Kerin B. Adelson, MD, of the Yale Cancer Center, discusses the major healthcare cost drivers at the end of life—aggressive treatments, emergency room visits, and futile care—and strategies for improving value. (Abstract 3)

palliative care
lung cancer
issues in oncology

Afatinib Shows Clinical Benefit for Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients With Brain Metastases

Non­–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with common epidermal growth factor (EGFR) mutations and brain metastases showed improved progression-free survival and response from the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor afatinib (Gilotrif) compared to standard platinum doublet chemotherapy....

palliative care

Study Finds Need for Improved End-of-Life Care for Parents With Terminal Cancer

Care for mothers with terminal cancer could be improved to help resolve their psychological distress and to help surviving family members cope, a study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found. Based on the study findings published by Park et al in the journal BMJ...

palliative care
survivorship

Samuel M. Silver, MD, PhD, and David S. Ettinger, MD, on the Characteristics of an Optimal Clinical Practice Guideline

Samuel M. Silver, MD, PhD, of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and David S. Ettinger, MD, of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, discuss the evolution of the NCCN Guidelines, the importance of including palliative care and survivorship recommendations, and the use of the guidelines in community practices.

supportive care
symptom management
palliative care

Daniel A. Vorobiof, MD, and Bernardo Leon Rapoport, MD, on NK-1 Inhibitors for CINV: Potentially Practice-Changing Data

Daniel A. Vorobiof, MD, of the Sandton Oncology Centre, and Bernardo Leon Rapoport, MD, of The Medical Oncology Centre of Rosebank, discuss the first study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single dose of intravenous fosaprepitant. The use of this NK1 inhibitor and another (rolapitant) in a second study discussed may change the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and improve quality of life for patients (Abstracts 9629 and 9615).

hematologic malignancies
palliative care

Thomas W. LeBlanc, MD, and Eric Roeland, MD, FAAHPM, on Palliative Care for Patients With Hematologic Malignancies

Thomas W. LeBlanc, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, and Eric Roeland, MD, FAAHPM, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, discuss the use of palliative and hospice care for patients with solid tumors vs hematologic cancers and clinicians’ attitudes (Abstracts e20554 and 9524).

palliative care
lung cancer
survivorship

Areej El-Jawahri, MD, and Eric Roeland, MD, FAAHPM, on Quality of Life and Satisfaction With Care

Eric Roeland, MD, FAAHPM, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and Areej El-Jawahri, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discuss two important studies on early palliative care and the use of anamorelin in advanced NSCLC with cachexia.

lung cancer
palliative care
symptom management

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Discusses Anamorelin and Olanzapine for Palliative Care

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, of OhioHealth Kobacker House discusses the ROMANA 1 and 2 trials on cachexia in NSCLC and a study on olanzapine vs fosaprepitant for the prevention of nausea and vomiting (Abstracts 9500 and 9502).

palliative care
global cancer care

Irene Higginson, MD, on Palliative and End-of-Life Care: An International Perspective

Irene Higginson, MD, of Cicely Saunders International, discusses the goals of psychosocial palliative care for patients around the world with advanced cancer.

palliative care

Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD, and David Kissane, MD, on Models of Family-Centered Care During Palliative Care and Bereavement

Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and David Kissane, MD, of Monash University, discuss the importance of and challenges with attending to the whole family during palliative care.

palliative care
symptom management

Eduardo Bruera, MD, on Cachexia Assessment and Management State of the Art

Eduardo Bruera, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses exciting developments in the assessment and management of cachexia, as well as a number of emerging pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions (Abstract 67).

pain management
palliative care
symptom management
integrative oncology

Lorenzo Cohen, MD, on Acupuncture and Other Nondrug Pain Management Techniques

Lorenzo Cohen, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses nonpharmacologic approaches to symptom control. Techniques such as acupuncture for managing pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, or yoga and meditation to help improve quality of life, can be safely integrated into oncology care.

palliative care

Judith Vick, MD Candidate, and Rachelle E. Bernacki, MD, on A New Clinical Tool: The “Surprise Question”

Judith Vick, MD Candidate, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Rachelle E. Bernacki, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discuss a tool that could help clinicians identify seriously ill patients who would benefit from conversations about their goals and values (Abstract 8).

palliative care

Diane Portman, MD, on Integrating Palliative Care in Cancer Treatment

Diane Portman, MD, of Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses clinical pathways that embed palliative care along the spectrum of care for a variety of cancer disease states.

palliative care

Anthony L. Back, MD, on Improving Communication Between Patient and Provider

Anthony L. Back, MD, of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, summarizes a general session on best practices and novel tools for enhancing communication between patients and oncology providers (Abstracts 8,9, 39).

palliative care

Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, on Effective Care Integration and the Comanagement Model

Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital, summarizes her keynote lecture (plenary talk).

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