BACKGROUND: Supportive care in cancer (SCC) have been recommended to be integrated in the management of patients with lung cancer all along the course of the disease. We took advantage of a pilot program of early implementation of optimized SCC, to report the feasibility such program in patients with advanced lung cancer, and correlate patient characteristics and outcomes with the actual use of optimized SCC.
METHODS: This study is a retrospective analysis of all consecutive patients with lung cancer treated at our center between 2012 and 2016. Optimized SCC included the intervention of a nurse for the home-hospital network coordination, as well as socio-aesthetics, psychomotricity, art-therapy, adapted physical activity, and also establishment of at-home hospitalization.
RESULTS: 309 patients were included. Median overall survival was 11.2 months. Unplanned hospitalizations occurred for 276 (89%) patients. The median duration of hospital stay was 19 days. Unplanned hospitalizations more frequently occurred within the first 3 months after the diagnosis of advanced cancer, and in the last 3 months before death. A short – less than 3 months – delay between diagnosis and unplanned hospitalization was associated with poor outcome. 272 (88%) patients received optimized SCC, within a median delay of 8 weeks after diagnosis. Intervention of the nurse for in- and out-patient network coordination was done for 143 (46%) patients, and at-home hospitalization was organized for 78 (25%) patients. The outcome of patients who received optimized SCC was numerically, but not significantly better (median overall survival of 11.8 vs. 6.9 months, p = 0.270).
CONCLUSION: Our study provides landmark data to support an early integration of optimized SCC for patients with advanced lung cancer, that includes multimodal supportive care interventions along the course of the disease. This highlights the role of multidisciplinary teams to optimize the management of patients with advanced lung cancer.