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palliative care
issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Differences in End-of-Life Quality Measures Across U.S. Cancer Centers

In a study presented by Wasp et al at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 6507) studying variation in end-of-life care across cancer centers in the United States, researchers found quality of care was lower at centers that served a greater concentration of minorities. However, end-of-life care...

palliative care
lung cancer
cost of care

Effect of Increased VA Hospice Care on Use of Aggressive Care and Costs for Veterans With Advanced Lung Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Mor et al found that veterans with advanced lung cancer treated in Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers with high hospice use were more likely to receive concurrent cancer care but less likely to receive aggressive care. Moreover, veterans treated at...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Site of Care May Affect Racial and Ethnic Minorities’ Access to Palliative Treatment

For patients at the end of life, palliative care can prolong survival and improve the quality of life for patients with a life-threatening illness and for their families—but studies have found that racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive end-of-life palliative care than...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Impact of Survival Predictions on Aggressive End-of-Life Care Among Patients With Metastatic Cancer

In a single-institution study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Sborov et al found that inaccurate prediction of life expectancy can be associated with greater likelihood of aggressive end-of-life care among patients with metastatic cancer receiving palliative radiation therapy. Study...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Factors Affecting Use of Outpatient Specialty Palliative Care Clinics Among Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Yu et al identified factors affecting use of outpatient specialty palliative care (OSPC) among patients with advanced cancer in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center Network (UPMC-HCCN). Study Details The...

geriatric oncology
palliative care

Katherine C. Lee, MD, on Emergency Surgery and End-of-Life Care

Katherine C. Lee, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses her study findings that showed older patients with metastatic cancer who survived emergency general surgery experienced higher intensity end-of-life care than similar patients who did not undergo surgery (Abstract 56).

issues in oncology
palliative care

Mary E. Johnson on Holding Vigil With Dying Loved Ones

Mary E. Johnson, author of Stay With Me Awhile, discusses her play, a compilation of vigil stories from across cultures and religions, and the profound impact the performances have had on audience members.

palliative care
survivorship
myelodysplastic syndromes
leukemia

Suleika Jaouad on Making the Most of a Life Interrupted: A Young Adult Perspective on Cancer

Suleika Jaouad, an Emmy Award–winning writer, advocate, and cancer survivor who was diagnosed at age 22 with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia, discusses what she has learned about coping with cancer, learning from it, and growing beyond it.

palliative care
pain management

Leslie J. Blackhall, MD, on Unregulated Opioid Access: Consequences and Outcomes

Leslie J. Blackhall, MD, of the University of Virginia, discusses abuse of opioids, prescribing responsibly, and reducing cancer pain while also decreasing the risk of misusing these agents.

palliative care
issues in oncology
symptom management

2018 Palliative Care: Can an AI-Based App Help Manage Cancer-Related Pain?

A study of 112 patients with metastatic solid tumors found that the use of an artificial intelligence (AI)-based smartphone app reduced both the severity of patients’ reported pain and hospital admissions. After an 8-week period, patients who used the AI-powered app to monitor and address...

palliative care
lung cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

ICU Admissions During Terminal Hospitalizations in Patients With Stage IV Lung Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Mrad et al found an increase in the proportion of patients with stage IV lung cancer admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) during terminal hospitalization between 1998 and 2014. A large increase in palliative care contacts also occurred,...

palliative care

Quality Improvement Initiative for Documenting Goals of Care for Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Karim et al found that a quality improvement initiative at a single cancer center improved documentation of goals-of-care discussions and referral to palliative care for patients with advanced cancer. Study Details In the study,...

palliative care

Impact of Peer-Review Intervention on Radiotherapy Schedules for Palliative Treatment of Bone Metastases

In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Walker et al found that institution of a peer-review process resulted in shorter fractionation schedules for palliation of bone metastases, consistent with current guidelines. As stated by the authors, “Shorter...

palliative care
colorectal cancer
lung cancer
cost of care

Geographic Differences in End-of-Life Cancer Care

When it comes to how much end-of-life care a patient with cancer receives, geography may, indeed, be destiny, according to new research led by Harvard Medical School that found differences in this type of cancer care across different parts of the country. The findings, published by Keating et al...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Preferences in Male Patients With Cancer

Men with advanced cancer are 30% less likely than women to consider palliative care, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) study. Researchers believe the findings reflect social norms about gender roles, as well as widespread messages in the media and society about...

issues in oncology
palliative care
immunotherapy

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, on Issues in Immunotherapy

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, of Tulane University, speaks anecdotally about immunotherapy for prostate cancer and shares his experiences in speaking to patients with late-stage disease about the knowns, unknowns, risks, and toxicities of using a therapy outside the context of a clinical trial setting. The ...

issues in oncology
palliative care
immunotherapy

Owen A. O’Connor, MD, PhD, on Issues in Immunotherapy

Owen A. O'Connor, MD, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center, shares his perspective on immunotherapy for patients with late-stage cancer in the context of a clinical trial setting and recent Right-to-Try legislation. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of...

palliative care
issues in oncology

AMA Rejects Recommendation to Reaffirm Opposition to Medical Aid in Dying

On June 11, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates voted 56% to 44% to reject a report by its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) that recommended the AMA maintain its Code of Medical Ethics’ opposition to medical aid in dying. Instead, the House of Delegates...

palliative care
lung cancer

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Quality of End-of-Life Care Among Patients With Lung Cancer

Significant disparities in the quality of end-of-life lung cancer care were found among racial/ethnic minorities, with higher odds of experiencing potentially preventable medical encounters during end of life as compared with non-Hispanic whites. These findings were published by Karanth et al in...

palliative care
lung cancer

Updated ASTRO Guideline for Palliative Radiotherapy in Lung Cancer

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued an update to its clinical guideline for the use of palliative-intent radiation therapy for patients with incurable non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Reflecting new evidence from randomized clinical trials, the guideline now...

palliative care

Association of Early Palliative Care With Patient-Reported Outcomes and End-of-Life Care

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hoerger et al found that patients with a higher proportion of early palliative care visits addressing behavioral coping strategies had improvement in depression symptoms and quality of life. In addition, those with a high proportion of visits ...

palliative care

Areej El-Jawahri, MD, on A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care

Areej El-Jawahri, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses a video tool that helps overcome communication barriers so that patients can make more informed decisions for end-of-life care and their preferences are respected.

issues in oncology
palliative care

Sandip Patel, MD, on Immunotherapy: New Developments and Toxicity Challenges

Sandip Patel, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses diagnosing and managing immune-related adverse events from immune checkpoint blockade and the toxicities of these treatments.

palliative care

Jamie Jacobs, PhD, on Early Integrated Palliative Care: The Positive Effects

Jamie Jacobs, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, discusses study results that showed integrating oncology and palliative care early in the course of treatment helps people with incurable lung and gastrointestinal cancers cope better and have an improved quality of life and less...

palliative care

Michael Hoerger, PhD, on Early Palliative Care: Study Results

Michael Hoerger, PhD, of Tulane University, discusses the effect on quality of life, depression, and end-of-life care when physicians focus on coping or on decision-making and advance care planning (Abstract 154).

palliative care
pain management

Jacob J. Strand, MD, on Dealing With Opioid Use Disorders

Jacob J. Strand, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses tips and tools that clinicians can use to develop universal precautions for prescribing opioids in oncology and palliative care practice.

palliative care

Thomas J. Smith, MD, on Palliative Care and Outpatient Treatment: Expert Perspective

Thomas J. Smith, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discusses successful models of integrating palliative care into outpatient oncology.

palliative care

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, on Palliative Care in Oncology: A Fellows Curriculum

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, of OhioHealth, discusses an online curriculum that changed younger physicians’ use of palliative medicine in practice during the year after fellowship training (Abstract 202).

palliative care
symptom management

Eric Roeland, MD, on Symptom Management: Expert Perspective

Eric Roeland, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, summarizes key papers delivered at the Palliative Care Symposium on managing insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and the ways in which physical therapy and nausea can reduce the side effect burden.

palliative care

Changes in Opioid Prescription for Cancer Patients Referred to Outpatient Palliative Care

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Haider et al found that the median morphine equivalent daily dose decreased significantly among cancer patients seen at MD Anderson Cancer Center’s outpatient palliative care clinic between 2010 and 2015. Use of hydrocodone decreased...

palliative care
lung cancer

2017 ASCO Palliative Care: Yoga Can Be an Effective Supportive Therapy for People With Lung Cancer and Their Caregivers

In a feasibility trial of people with advanced lung cancer receiving radiation therapy and their caregivers, yoga was beneficial to both parties. These findings will be presented by Milbury et al at the upcoming 2017 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium in San Diego (Abstract 125). ...

palliative care
leukemia

2017 ASCO Palliative Care: People With Leukemia and Their Oncologists Have Vastly Different Perceptions of Prognosis

A study of 100 people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving chemotherapy found that patient and physician perceptions of treatment risk and the likelihood of a cure varied widely. Overall, patients tended to overestimate both the risk of dying due to treatment and the likelihood of a cure....

palliative care

2017 ASCO Palliative Care: Resilience Intervention Improves Quality of Life for Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer

Although a cancer diagnosis is daunting at any age, adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with the disease often face unique challenges and are at risk for poor psychosocial outcomes than older patients. A randomized study investigating whether a brief, age-appropriate, skills-based intervention...

palliative care

2017 ASCO Palliative Care: Patients With Advanced Cancer Prefer Oncologists Not Use Computers in the Exam Room

Although the use of electronic health records in oncology care has led to improved care for patients, results from a new study show that oncologists need to be cautious about using computers during exam room visits, especially for patients with advanced cancer. The randomized study compared...

palliative care

Integrative Therapies in Palliative Care Project

Palliative care professionals are invited to participate in a unique project sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Collinge and Associates, Inc, is seeking interdisciplinary professionals to help develop and evaluate a new online continuing education (CE/CME) course on the use of integrative...

palliative care

Inpatient Palliative Care During HCT and Psychological Distress After Transplantation

In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, El-Jawahri et al found that inpatient palliative care during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was associated with improvement in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms at 6 months after...

palliative care
lung cancer

ESMO 2017: 'Triggers': A New Tool to Assess Patients’ Palliative Needs

A new tool to identify patients who would benefit from early palliative care was presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract LBA54_PR). The so-called “Triggers” tool, developed by the London Cancer Alliance to help clinicians in the...

palliative care

Assessment of Embedding Palliative Care Nurse Practitioners in Oncology Clinics

In a study reported by Walling et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, the embedding of a palliative care nurse practitioner in an oncology clinic resulted in improved hospice referral, advance care planning documentation, and referral for psychosocial support. Study Details The study compared ...

palliative care

Integration of Oncology and Palliative Care in a Solid Tumor Inpatient Service

In a retrospective study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Riedel et al found that integration of oncology and palliative care in a solid tumor inpatient service resulted in improvements in quality-of-care metrics during the first year of implementation. Study Details The study...

palliative care

Palliative Care May Substantially Decrease Health-Care Utilization in Patients With Advanced Cancer

A new population-based study shows that palliative care substantially decreased health-care utilization among Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancer, resulting in less intensive care being delivered at the end of life. This included lower rates of hospitalization, fewer invasive procedures,...

palliative care

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form Use and End-of-Life Quality-of-Care Metrics in Cancer Patients

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Pedraza et al found that patients with advanced cancer who had Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms in place were more likely to have hospice admission and death out of the hospital than those with only advance...

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 ...

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