This retrospective multi-center analysis aimed to assess the clinical response and stabilizing effects of palliative radiotherapy (RT) for spinal bone metastases (SBM) in head and neck cancer (HNC), and to establish potential predictive factors for stability and overall survival (OS). Patients included in this analysis were treated at the University Hospitals of Mainz, Freiburg, and Heidelberg between 2001 and 2019. Clinical information was taken from the medical records. The stability of affected vertebral bodies was assessed according to the validated spine instability neoplastic score (SINS) based on CT-imaging before RT, as well as 3 and 6 months after RT. OS was quantified as the time between the start of palliative RT and death from any cause or last follow-up. Potential predictive factors for stability and OS were analyzed using generalized estimating equations and Cox regression for time-varying covariates to take into account multiple observations per patient. The mean follow-up time of 66 included patients after the first palliative RT was 8.1 months (range 0.3–85.0 months). The majority of patients (70%; n = 46) had squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) originating from the pharynx, larynx and oral cavity, while most of the remaining patients (26%; n = 17) suffered from salivary glands tumors. A total of 95 target volumes including 178 SBM were evaluated that received a total of 81 irradiation series. In patients with more than one metastasis per irradiated region, only the most critical bone metastasis was analyzed according to the SINS system. Prior to RT, pain and neurologic deficits were present in 76% (n = 72) and 22% (n = 21) of irradiated lesions, respectively, and 68% of the irradiated lesions (n = 65) were assessed as unstable or potentially unstable prior to RT. SBM-related pain symptoms and neurologic deficits responded to RT in 63% and 47% of the treated lesions, respectively. Among patients still alive at 3 and 6 months after RT with potentially unstable or unstable SBM, a shift to a better stability class according to the SINS was observed in 20% and 33% of the irradiated SBM, respectively. Pathological fractures of SBM were frequently detected before the start of irradiation (43%; n = 41), but after RT, new fractures or increasing vertebral body sintering within the irradiated region occurred rarely (8%; n = 8). A pathological fracture before RT was negatively associated with stabilization 6 months after RT (OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.02–0.49, p = 0.004), while a Karnofsky performance score (KPS) = 70% was associated positively with a stabilization effect through irradiation (OR 6.09, 95% CI 1.68–22.05, p = 0.006). Mean OS following first palliative RT was 10.7 months, and the KPS (=70% vs. <70%) was shown to be a strong predictive factor for OS after RT (HR 0.197, 95% CI 0.11–0.35, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in OS between patients with SCC and non-SCC. Palliative RT in symptomatic SBM of HNC provides sufficient symptom relief in the majority of patients, while only about one third of initially unstable SBM show re-stabilization after RT. Since patients in our multi-center cohort exhibited very limited OS, fractionation schemes should be determined depending on the patients’ performance status.
This study aimed to investigate whether the use of molecular-targeted agents could affect gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity in palliative radiotherapy (RT) for metastatic bone tumors in the abdominopelvic region. We collected data of patients who received palliative RT for bone metastases in the abdominopelvic region between 2013 and 2014 from six institutions. Data of 395 patients were collected and 184 patients received molecularly targeted therapy, of whom 80 received vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted agents. For 556 lesions, 410 sessions of irradiation were undergone. GI toxicity of =G3 was observed in 3.8% of patients. The incidence rates of =G3 GI toxicity in patients without targeted agents use, in those using VEGF-targeted agents and in those using non-VEGF-targeted agents were 3.8, 7.5 and 1.0%, respectively. Regarding risk factors of the occurrence of =G3 GI toxicity, univariate analysis in all patients showed that a history of abdominopelvic surgery was a significant risk factor (P = 0.01), and the use of VEGF-targeted agents showed a trend of high incidence (P = 0.06). In patients using VEGF-targeted agents, both univariate and multivariate analysis showed that combined anticoagulant use (P = 0.03 and 0.01) and agent use between 1 week before and after RT (P = 0.046 and 0.03) were significant risk factors. In conclusion, the history of abdominopelvic surgery was associated with =G3 GI toxicity and the use of VEGF-targeted agents showed a trend for high incidence. When using VEGF-targeted agents, caution should be exercised in the combined use of anticoagulants and in the agent use between 1 week before and after RT.
PURPOSE: To characterize the participation of Radiation Oncology (RO) in reporting quality metrics through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Hospital Compare database, and to describe the association of hospital characteristics with RO-specific quality metrics.
METHODS: Data from CMS Hospital Compare, International Atomic Energy Agency's Directory of Radiotherapy Centre (IAEA DIRAC), 2010 US Census, and CMS Inpatient Prospective Payment System were linked to create an integrated dataset of geographic information, facility characteristics, and quality measures, focusing on the use of EBRT for bony metastases.
RESULTS: Of 4829 hospitals in the Hospital Compare database (HCD), 2030 had access to radiation therapy. Among these, 814 (40%) reported on the rate of guideline-concordant EBRT for bony metastases, a RO-specific quality measure. A total of 33,614 eligible cases of bony metastases treated with EBRT were sampled. Participation in quality reporting varied significantly by geography, population type, teaching status, hospital ownership, hospital type, and hospital size. The median rate of guideline-concordant palliative EBRT utilization was 89%. Nine percent of 814 centers had a compliance rate of less than 50%. On multivariate analysis, increasing number of cases sampled (OR 0.93, p=.028), increasing hospital star-rating, and above-average patient experience rating (OR 0.58, p=.024) remained significantly associated with decreased odds of falling in the lowest quartile of guideline-concordant EBRT utilization.
CONCLUSION: RO participation in a large, national quality improvement (QI) effort is nascent and reveals potential quality gaps between hospitals offering palliative EBRT for bone metastases. More robust RO-specific quality measures are needed.
The current health crisis caused by COVID-19 is a challenge for oncology treatment, especially when it comes to radiotherapy. Cancer patients are already known to be very fragile and COVID-19 brings about the risk of severe respiratory complications. In order to treat patients safely while protecting medical teams, the entire health care system must optimize the way it approaches prevention and treatment at a time when social distancing is key to stemming this pandemic. All indications and treatment modalities must be re-discussed. This is particularly the case for radiotherapy of bone metastases for which it is possible to reduce the number of sessions, the frequency of transport and the complexity of treatments. These changes will have to be discussed according to the organization of each radiotherapy department and the health situation, while medical teams must remain vigilant about the risks of complications of bone metastases, particularly spinal metastases. In this short piece, the members of the GEMO (the European Study Group of Bone Metastases) offer a number of recommendations to achieve the above objectives, both in general and in relation to five of the most common situations on radiation therapy for bone metastases.
Purpose: In recent years, radionuclides like 177Lu have been considered promising material for the creation of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. With the therapeutic use of radiopharmaceuticals, the absorbed doses per tumor may exceed 10 Gy. It is extremely important that doses absorbed by healthy organs and tissues do not exceed the threshold for the incidence of deterministic effects.
Materials and methods: The potential use of the radionuclide lutetium-177 for the palliative treatment of pain in bone metastases is analyzed. The radionuclide 177Lu is a beta-emitting nuclide with a maximal energy of 0.49 MeV and a half-life of 6.6 days (161 h). Two therapeutic agents were considered: methylene diphosphonate (MDP) and ethylenediamine tetramethylene phosphonic acid (EDTMP). Both drugs contain phosphorus compounds in their composition, which ensures high tropism in bone tissue. For both drugs, biokinetic models of 177Lu’s behavior in the human body are created. A number of studies have shown that the radiochemical stability of these drugs is about 99%: these calculations took into account the presence of a free 177Lu radionuclide in each solution. The absorbed doses in organs and tissues when using the radiopharmaceuticals 177Lu-MDP and 177Lu-EDTMP, as well as the currently used drugs 153Sm-EDTMP and 89SrCl2, are compared. In order to assess the risk of the patient’s exposure to a radiopharmaceutical, the absorbed doses are calculated for each organ where the radioactive label is mainly deposited: the kidneys, red bone marrow, liver and bone surface.
Results: The intensity of dose accumulation when using different drugs on the pathological focus is different. The drug 177Lu-MDP is faster than other drugs when it comes to the full realization of the expected dose; therefore, a therapeutic effect is achieved faster when it is used. The slowest absorbed dose accumulates when strontium chloride is used. To compare the effectiveness of preparations based on the 177Lu radionuclide, an analysis of the radiopharmaceuticals currently used for the palliative therapy of bone metastases (89SrCl2 and 153Sm-EDTMP) was performed. For 89Sr, the most vulnerable organs are the kidneys, red bone marrow and liver, while for 153Sm-EDTMP, red marrow bone is most vulnerable. For radiopharmaceuticals based on the 177Lu radionuclide, the most vulnerable organs are the kidneys, liver and red bone marrow. This proves the effectiveness of the 177Lu-MDP and 177Lu-EDTMP radiopharmaceuticals.
Conclusions: According to the results of the calculations, 177Lu-EDTMP and 177Lu-MDP demonstrate the best results for the palliative therapy of bone metastases.
Purpose: International guidelines are available to guide prescription of antiemetic and pain flare medications in patients receiving palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases, but prescription rates are quite variable. We hypothesized that a simple electronic quality checklist could increase the evidence-based use of these medications.
Materials and methods: We implemented an electronic quality checklist item in our center for all patients treated with palliative radiotherapy for lumbar spine bone metastases. We retrospectively reviewed patients in the 6-month pre- and post-intervention. Patients were stratified according to if they were treated within a dedicated rapid palliative (RPAL) radiotherapy program or not. Chi-square tests were used to compare rates of antiemetic and pain flare medications pre- and post-intervention and RPAL vs not.
Results: A total of 375 patients were identified with 42 (11.2%) treated in dedicated RPAL program. The proportion of patients treated with prophylactic antiemetic and pain flare medications pre-intervention (n = 226) and post-intervention (n = 149) was respectively 34.1% vs 59.1% (p < 0.001) and 26.1% vs 43.0% (p = 0.01). Observed differences for antiemetic prescription rates were greater for patients who were not treated within a dedicated palliative radiotherapy program, but this was not the case for pain flare medications.
Conclusions: Our data shows that a simple quality checklist item can have a significant effect on the evidence-based use of prophylactic antiemetic and pain flare medications in patients treated with palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases. We believe such strategies should be routinely included in other clinical pathways to improve the use of symptom control medications.
BACKGROUND: We report our experience with Indian patients who received palliative chemotherapy with/without cetuximab for recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (R/M SCCHN).
METHODS: Data from 229 R/M SCCHN patients treated with cetuximab and chemotherapy (n = 140) or chemotherapy alone (n = 89) were retrospectively analyzed for response rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety.
RESULTS: Patients receiving cetuximab with chemotherapy demonstrated significant increase in RR (77.1% vs 44.9%, P = .0001), PFS (8.1 vs 6.1 months, P = .039), and OS (11.8 vs 8.0 months, P = .002) compared with patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Continuing cetuximab and changing chemotherapy combination (second line and beyond) in fit patients doubled OS (13.5 vs 6.1 months, P = .001). Adverse effects, except skin reactions (more in the cetuximab with chemotherapy group; P = .001), were similar in both groups.
CONCLUSION: Adding cetuximab to chemotherapy improved ORR, PFS, and OS in Indian R/M SCCHN patients, and cetuximab was well tolerated.
INTRODUCTION: The optimal dose-fractionation schedule of palliative radiotherapy has been debated in patients with bone metastases. Our objective is to comprehensively compare multiple fraction schedules with single fraction radiotherapy in terms of efficacy and toxicities by performing a systematic review and network meta-analysis.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Electronic searches of titles/abstracts of palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases will be performed, using PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, clinical trials, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and European Society of Radiotherapy and Oncology. The primary outcome of interest is the incidence of skeletal-related event following palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases in prospective studies. The risk of bias and quality of evidence will be evaluated based on Cochrane Collaboration's tool and Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation in the network meta-analysis. We will conduct subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis regardless of heterogeneity estimates.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study will synthesise the evidence regarding dose-fractionation schedule of palliative radiotherapy in patients with bone metastases. We hope the findings from this study will help clinicians and patients select optimum palliative radiotherapy by identifying the optimal dose-fractionation schedule of palliative radiotherapy with the most value in terms of patient-important outcomes. The evidence obtained from network meta-analysis will help to guide head-to-head research in the future. The results will be disseminated through international conference reports and peer-reviewed manuscripts. Ethics review board is not required for this network meta-analysis.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42019135195.
Multiple new options are available in the palliation of bone metastases. Most of these techniques can be used in conjunction with radiation therapy either before or after and are now giving patients who have reached dose limitations new options. These techniques can also be used with vertebroplasty (VP) to increase structural stability post tumor ablation. Localized percutaneous treatment in the bone such as thermal [radiofrequency ablation (RFA)] and light [photodynamic therapy (PDT)] have been used to destroy tumor prior to injection with cement. This educational review will discuss the safety profile, technique and indications for emerging technology in the area of locoregional treatment of bone metastases in conjunction with vertebral augmentation. It will not delve comprehensively into conventional lines of treatment where indications and outcomes have already been well established.
BACKGROUND: Bone metastases in the lower spine and pelvis are effectively palliated with radiotherapy (RT), though this can come with side effects such as radiation induced nausea and vomiting (RINV). We hypothesize that high rates of RINV occur in part because of the widespread use of inexpensive simple unplanned palliative radiotherapy (SUPR), over more complex and resource intensive 3D conformal RT, such as volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT).
METHODS: This is a randomized, multi-centre phase III trial of SUPR versus VMAT. We will accrue 250 patients to assess the difference in patient-reported RINV. This study is powered to detect a difference in quality of life between patients treated with VMAT vs. SUPR.
DISCUSSION: This trial will determine if VMAT reduces early toxicity compared to SUPR and may provide justification for this more resource-intensive and costly form of RT.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT03694015 . Date of registration: October 3, 2018.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of single-fraction palliative radiotherapy (SFRT) for the management of bone metastases (BM) in Victoria, Australia
METHODS AND MATERIALS: This is a population-based cohort of cancer patients who received RT for BM between 2012 and 2017 as captured in the Victorian Radiotherapy Minimum Data Set (VRMDS). The primary outcome was proportion of SFRT use. The Cochrane-Armitage test for trend was used to evaluate changes in practice over time. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with SFRT use.
RESULTS: Of the 18,158 courses of RT for BM delivered in a total of 10,956 patients, 17% were SFRT. There was no significant change in SFRT use over time, from 18% in 2012 to 19% in 2017 (P=0.07). SFRT was less commonly given to skull (4%) and spine (14%), compared to shoulder (37%) and ribs (53%). Patients with lung cancer (21%) were most likely to receive SFRT, followed by those with prostate cancers (18%) and gastrointestinal cancers (16%). Patients from regional/remote areas were more likely to have SFRT compared to those in major cities (22% vs. 16%, P<0.001). Patients treated in public institutions were more likely to have SFRT compared to those treated in private institutions (22% vs. 10%, P<0.001). In multivariable analyses, increasing age, lung cancer, living in regional/remote areas, and being treated in public institutions were factors independently associated with increased likelihood of receiving SFRT.
CONCLUSIONS: SFRT appears under-utilized for BM in Australia over time, with variation in practice by patient, tumor, geographical and institutional provider factors.
Bone metastases represent a significant health care problem in the cancer population. The most common symptom for bone metastases is pain. Bone metastases may also cause pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression, cauda equina compression and serum calcium disorders. This review article summarizes the epidemiology, diagnostic modalities, role for radiation, and future directions as it pertains to bone metastases. Radiotherapy is an effective and standard modality for the treatment of painful complicated and uncomplicated bony metastases. Further strategies are needed to optimize pain relief, quality of life and survival in the bone metastases cancer population.
INTRODUCTION: There has been a long-standing debate regarding the efficacy of single fraction radiotherapy (SFRT) compared to multiple fraction radiotherapy (MFRT); many systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted to resolve the debate and suggested SFRT is equally as effective as MFRT. Given the adequate amalgamated sample size that exists, it is difficult to appreciate the need for further RCTs. The aim of this paper was to conduct a cumulative meta-analysis to determine whether further trials will be of value to the meta-conclusion. This paper also assessed publication quality.
METHODS: A total of 29 studies were used in our meta-analysis. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Version 3) by Biostat was used to conduct a cumulative meta-analysis. The Cochrane Risk of Bias assessment tool was employed to assess study quality of the included RCTs. Funnel plots were generated using Review Manager (RevMan 5.3) by Cochrane IMS, to visually assess for publication bias.
RESULTS: All but one endpoint, overall response rates in assessable patients, maintained the same meta-conclusion over publication time; published studies did not change the amalgamated scientific conclusion of existing literature. Additional studies have simply confirmed pre-existing conclusions and refined the point estimate of the efficacy estimate. The majority of included studies have low risk of bias.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the meta-conclusion has remained consistent over time - SFRT is equally as efficacious as MFRT. Recent studies have had little impact on the overall conclusion, and given the vast amount of resources to execute a randomized trial, future resources should not be used to repeat these studies, and can be better allocated to test other hypotheses.
Purpose: This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the stability and fracture rates of osteolytic spinal bone metastases (SBM) in elderly patients following palliative radiotherapy (RT) and to derive prognostic factors for stability and survival.
Methods: A total of 322 patients aged at least 70 years received palliative RT at two major German academic medical centers or at the German Cancer Research Center. Stability assessment was based on the validated Taneichi score prior to RT and at 3 and 6 months after RT. The survival time following RT was assessed, and prognostic factors for stability and survival were analyzed.
Results: Prior to RT, 183 patients (57%) exhibited unstable SBM and 68 patients (21%) pathological fractures. At 3 and 6 months after RT, significant recalcification and stabilization were evident in 19% (23/118) and 40% (31/78) of surviving patients, respectively. Only 17 patients (5%) experienced new pathological fractures following RT. Tumor histology was found to significantly influence stabilization rates with only breast cancer patients exhibiting increased stabilization compared to patients with other histologies. The median survival time and 6-month survival rates following RT were 5.4 months (95% confidence interval 4.4-7.2 months) and 48%, respectively. The patients' performance status was found to be the strongest predictor for survival after RT in this patient cohort; further factors demonstrating a significant association with survival were the application of systemic treatment, the number of SBM and the primary tumor histology. To analyze the influence of age on survival after RT, study patients were stratified into 3 age groups (i.e., 70-74 years, 75-79 years, and >=80 years). The subgroup of patients aged at least 80 years showed a strong trend towards a worse survival time following RT compared to younger patients (i.e., 6-month survival rate 39% vs. 51%; p = 0.06, log-rank test).
Conclusions: Prognostic factors influencing overall survival such as performance status and histology should guide the choice for palliative RT for SBM. Strongly hypofractionated RT regimes may be advisable for most elderly patients considering the overall poor prognosis in order to reduce hospitalization times.
BACKGROUND: Determining the appropriate gross tumor volume is important for irradiation planning in addition to palliative radiation for bone metastases. While irradiation planning is commonly performed using simulation computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bone scintigraphy, and 18fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography-CT (18FDG-PET-CT) are more sensitive for detecting bone metastasis and invasion areas. Therefore, this study evaluated whether pretreatment imaging modalities influenced the response to palliative radiation therapy (i.e., the irradiation effect) for painful bone metastases from solid malignant carcinomas.
METHODS: Consecutive patients with painful bone metastases treated with palliative radiation between January 2013 and December 2017 at our institution were included. We retrospectively investigated the pretreatment images from the different imaging modalities (CT, MRI, bone scintigraphy, and 18FDG-PET-CT) obtained between 1 month before and the initiation of palliative radiation and determined the primary site of carcinoma, histological type, metastatic lesion type (osteolytic, osteoblastic, or mixed), pathological fracture, and metastatic site (vertebral or not). We then evaluated the relationship between these factors and treatment response. We defined "response" as the condition in which patients achieved pain relief or reduced the use of painkiller medicines.
RESULTS: In total, 131 patients (78 men and 53 women) were included; the median age was 66 years (range, 24-89 years). Prescribed doses were 8-50 Gy/1-25 fractions with 2-8 Gy/fraction. Among the 131 patients, 105 were responders (response rate, 80%). The imaging modalities performed before irradiation were CT in 131 patients, MRI in 54, bone scintigraphy in 56, and 18FDG-PET-CT in 14. The Welch t-test and chi-square test showed no significant association between treatment response and each factor. Multiple logistic regression analysis including the imaging modality, metastatic site, and pathological fracture also showed no significant association with each factor.
CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant relationship between the type of pretreatment imaging and treatment response for painful bone metastases. Thus, setting the appropriate radiation field according to CT images and clinical findings could help avoiding further image inspection before palliative radiation for painful bone metastases.
AIMS: Total radiation dose does not predict pain response in conventionally fractionated radiotherapy for bone metastases. By contrast, in radiotherapy for solid painful tumours other than bone metastases, it is unknown whether there is a dose-response relationship. We sought to determine whether a higher total radiation dose predicted a higher pain response rate in palliative radiotherapy for non-bone painful lesions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We carried out a secondary analysis of a prospective observational study. For patients scheduled for radiotherapy for painful tumours, Brief Pain Inventory data were collected at baseline and at 1, 2 and 3 months after the start of radiotherapy. The predictive value of total radiation dose was evaluated using the Fine-Gray model, in which death without a pain response was treated as a competing risk.
RESULTS: Of the 203 patients with solid painful tumours, 78 (38%) had non-bone painful lesions. There were no significant differences in pain response rate, the rate of the predominance of non-index pain or reductions in pain interference scores between the patients with non-bone lesions and those with bone metastases. Multivariable analysis showed that total radiation dose was an independent significant predictor of pain response in patients with non-bone painful lesions. This result was not robust to sensitivity analysis with Cox regression analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher total radiation dose seemed to be associated with a higher rate of pain response in patients with non-bone painful lesions. However, this finding was not robust to sensitivity analysis. Dose-response relationship should be investigated in clinical trials enrolling patients with these kinds of painful tumour.
BACKGROUND: Production of effective, low-cost, and efficient radiopharmaceuticals is an important task and requires further research and clinical studies. In this clinical trial, safety and efficacy of Lu-177/Sm-153 ethylenediamine tetramethylene phosphonic acid (EDTMP) cocktail has been evaluated for pain relief of bone metastases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-five patients with the mean age of 55.5 ± 15.8 years participated in this study. Patients received a total dose of 37 MBq/kg. Pain and performance assessments were followed using a Brief Pain Inventory form. Complete blood count and renal and liver function tests were also performed up to 12 weeks postadministration.
RESULTS: Eighteen patients (72%) demonstrated complete pain relief (relief = 100%) and approximately all patients (96%) experienced significant improvement in their quality of life. No grade IV hematological toxicity was observed during the 12-week follow-up period, and grade III toxicity was seen in 1 patient only. In addition, no abnormalities were seen in renal and liver function during the follow-up period.
CONCLUSIONS: There were no considerable complications after administration of Lu-177/Sm-153 EDTMP; this cocktail seems to be a safe and effective treatment for bone pain palliation in patients with skeletal metastases and improves the quality of life.
Few data are available regarding treatment outcomes in lung cancer patients with metastasis who initiated mechanical ventilation in the emergency department (ED). We aimed to evaluate 28-day mortality in lung cancer patients with metastasis who initiated mechanical ventilation in the ED. Patients with solid malignancy who initiated mechanical ventilation in the ED of a tertiary hospital were retrospectively identified and stratified into four groups according to the presence of lung cancer and metastasis. Among 212 included patients, the mortality rates by the 28th hospital day were as follows: 44.2% (19/43) in non-lung cancer patients without metastasis, 63.2% (43/68) in non-lung cancer patients with metastasis, 52.4% (11/21) in lung cancer patients without metastasis, and 66.2% (53/80) in lung cancer patients with metastasis. In multivariable analysis, lung cancer patients with metastasis had significantly higher odds ratio for 28-day mortality than non-lung cancer patients without metastasis (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 7.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.14–24.01). Sepsis-related respiratory failure (adjusted OR = 2.60, 95% CI = 1.16–5.84) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (adjusted OR = 13.34, 95% CI = 4.45–39.95) over respiratory failure without sepsis and acute organ dysfunction process measured by sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score (adjusted OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.05–12.6) were independently associated with an increase in mortality rate. In conclusion, the treatment outcomes in lung cancer patients with metastasis who initiated mechanical ventilation in the ED were poor. Aggressive resuscitation versus end-of-life care in advance of an unexpected medical crisis should be considered in lung cancer patients with metastasis via a multidisciplinary approach with a consideration of underlying comorbid illnesses in the acute organ dysfunction processes.
With the increasing prevalence of the left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in patients with end-stage cardiomyopathies, an increasing number of these patients are dying of noncardiac conditions. It is likely that the palliative care clinician will have an ever-increasing role in managing end of life for patients with LVADs, including discontinuation of LVAD support. There exists a paucity of literature describing strategies for effective delivery of palliative care in patients requesting discontinuation of LVAD therapy. Here, we present a case of a patient with metastatic cancer who requested LVAD discontinuation. Because of practical concerns and patient preference, the patient did not have intravenous (IV) access and medications requiring IV administration could not be used. Therefore, a strategy using intranasal midazolam and sufentanil was applied, the LVAD was deactivated, and the patient died comfortably. This case is, to our knowledge, the first to describe a strategy for delivery of palliative care in patients requesting discontinuation of LVAD support, particularly in the absence of IV access. Such a strategy may be applicable to patients wishing to die at home, and therefore allow greater latitude for patients and clinicians in their approach to the end of life.
OBJECTIVES: Increasing survival of patients with metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) may impact the demand for palliative radiation to bone (PRTB). Our aim was to characterize the use of PRTB in patients who died of PCa in British Columbia between 2003 and 2015.
METHODS: All patients diagnosed with PCa that died in the period (n=23,260) were identified from a population-based provincial registry. Patient and treatment characteristics were analyzed. PRTB utilization rate was calculated by year and location. Survival was calculated from the first and the last course of PRTB.
RESULTS: 5701 died of PCa, with median survival from diagnosis of 5.2 years. Overall PRTB utilization rate was 38.6%, with an increasing trend over time. Multiple courses of PRTB were frequent, with 51% receiving two or more courses of PRTB. 5.4% of the patients who died of PCa (15.2% of the PRTB cohort) received PRTB within the last 4 weeks of their life, of whom 60% received multiple fractions. Rural areas had lower referral rate and lower use of PRTB. Patients with longer survival tended to receive multiple courses of treatments. Median survival after the first course of PRTB increased from 8.2 months in 2003-4 to 9.4 months in 2013-14 (p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: PRTB is only used in the minority of patients dying of prostate cancer. The majority that die of PCa following PRTB do so within a year of their first course. The use of multifraction was common in the last 4 weeks of life. Survival after first PRTB increased minimally over time, and additional research is required to identify its association with recent changes in practice. The referral rate and PRTB utilization rate differ between rural and non-rural locations, underlying the importance of accessibility and referral for utilization of PRTB. Investigating other barriers and ensuring equitable access to radiation are needed.