BACKGROUND: Early integration of palliative care (PC) for patients with advanced cancer has been recommended to improve quality of care. This study aims to describe prevalence, temporal trend and predictors of PC use in metastatic breast cancer (mBCa) patients receiving critical care therapies (CCT; included invasive mechanic ventilation, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube, total parenteral nutrition, tracheostomy and dialysis).
METHODS: The National Inpatient Sample was queried for mBCa patients receiving CCT between 2005 and 2014. Annual percent changes (APC) were calculated for PC prevalence in the overall cohort and subgroups. Multivariable logistic analysis was used to explore predictors of PC use.
RESULTS: Of 5833 mBCa patients receiving CCT, 880 (15.09%) received PC. Rate of PC use increased significantly from 2.53% in 2005 to 25.96% in 2014 (APC: 35.75%; p < 0.0001). Higher increase in PC use was observed in South (from 0.65% to 27.11%; APC: 59.42%; p < 0.0001), medium bedsize hospitals (from 3.75% to 26.05%; APC: 38.16%; p = 0.0006) and urban teaching hospitals (from 4.13% to 29.86%; APC: 37.33%; p = 0.0005). Multivariable analysis revealed that year interval, urban teaching hospitals, and invasive mechanical ventilation were associated with increased PC use, while primary diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders, fractures, metastatic sites from lymph nodes and tracheostomy were associated with lower PC use.
CONCLUSIONS: PC use in mBCa patients receiving CCT increases significantly over the period. However, it still remains low. Efforts to illustrate disparities in PC use are needed to improve quality of care for mBCa patients receiving CCT, especially for those hospitalized in rural and nonteaching hospitals.
PURPOSE: There is limited evidence on the intensity of end-of-life (EOL) care for women < 65 years old, who account for about 40% of breast cancer deaths in the United States. Using established indicators, we estimated the intensity of EOL care among these women.
METHODS: We used 2000-2014 claims data from a large US insurer to identify women with metastatic breast cancer who, in the last month of their lives, had more than one hospital admission, emergency department visit, or an intensive care unit (ICU) admission and/or used antineoplastic therapy in the last 14 days of life. Using multivariate logistic regression, we assessed whether intensity of EOL care differed by demographic characteristics, socioeconomic factors, or regions.
RESULTS: Adjusted estimates show an increase in EOL ICU admissions between 2000-2003 and 2010-2014 from 14% (95% CI, 10% to 17%) to 23% (95% CI, 20% to 26%) and a small increase in emergency department visits from 10% (95% CI, 7% to 13%) to 12% (95% CI, 9% to 15%), both statistically significant. There was no statistically significant change in the proportions of women experiencing more than one EOL hospitalization (14% in 2010-2014; 95% CI, 11% to 17%) and of those receiving EOL antineoplastic treatment (24% in 2010-2014; 95% CI, 21% to 27%). Living in predominantly mixed, Hispanic, Black, or Asian neighborhoods correlated with more intense care (odds ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.77 for ICU).
CONCLUSION: Consistent with findings in the Medicare population, our results suggest an overall increase in the number of ICU admissions at the EOL over time. They also suggest that patients from non-White neighborhoods receive more intense acute care.
Objective: There are limited data on patient-reported outcomes near the end of life in patients with gynaecologic cancers. This study aimed to assess the symptom burden in the last 6 months of life in a real-world cohort.
Methods: Patients diagnosed with metastatic gynaecologic malignancies from 2016 to 2019 who completed the revised Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESASr) questionnaire within 6 months of death in a large Canadian province were identified. Patient-reported symptom scores were categorized as none to mild (0–3) and moderate to severe (4–10). Individual symptoms were subsequently grouped into physical, psychological, and total subscores. The severity of symptoms was further analyzed for any associations with age, time to death, and primary tumour site (ovarian vs. uterocervical and vulvovaginal).
Results: We identified 107 patients with gynaecologic malignancies including 59 ovarian, 29 uterocervical, and 19 vulvovaginal cancers. The median ages at diagnosis and questionnaire completion were 64 and 65 years, respectively. The median time from completing the ESASr questionnaire to death was 65 days. Overall, physical and psychological symptoms were moderate to severe in 57.9% and 40.2% of patients, respectively. Among the individual symptoms, tiredness was the most commonly reported moderate to severe symptom (74.9%), while shortness of breath was least commonly reported (31.6%). While physical (P < 0.001) and total symptom (P = 0.009) subscores were more likely to be moderate to severe in intensity as death approached, the psychological subscore (P = 0.744) had no relationship with time to death. Longer time to death was predictive of lower physical (P = 0.002) and total symptom (P = 0.002) subscores, while a primary uterocervical cancer site was associated with a lower psychological symptom subscore (P = 0.042).
Conclusions: In the real-world setting, unique symptom trajectories can emerge for patients with gynaecologic cancer near the end of life. Knowledge of these specific symptom patterns can help inform the development and delivery of targeted palliative interventions to improve quality of life for these patients.
OBJECTIVES: To identify sources used by patients with advanced or metastatic gynecologic cancer to learn about palliative care and to evaluate for differences in knowledge about palliative care and palliative care utilization by knowledge source.
METHODS: Gynecologic cancer patients receiving treatment for advanced or metastatic gynecologic cancer at a single academic medical center were surveyed about their awareness of and knowledge about palliative care. Medical chart review was conducted.
RESULTS: Of the 111 women surveyed, 70 had heard of palliative care (63%). Sixty-eight specified from where they learned of palliative care: cancer care (n=28, 41.2%), word of mouth (n=26, 38.2%), work (n=6, 8.8%), self-education (n=4, 5.9%), personal experience (n=2, 2.9%) or don't know (n=2, 2.9%). Knowledge about palliative care (p=0.35) and palliative care utilization (p=0.81) did not differ by awareness of palliative care.
CONCLUSION: Most women receiving treatment for advanced gynecologic cancer have heard of palliative care from sources other than their cancer care providers. Knowledge about palliative care and source of knowledge about palliative care were not associated with palliative care utilization. Awareness of palliative care and palliative care utilization may be improved by increasing the low rate of health provider-based education and engaging cancer patients' social networks.
CONTEXT: Cancer patients' comfort near the end of life is often undermined by unnecessary and burdensome treatments. There is a need for more research examining racial disparities in end-of-life care, especially in regions with a history of racial discrimination.
OBJECTIVES: To examine whether Black adults received more burdensome end-of-life care than White adults in a population-based data set of cancer decedents in Louisiana, a state with a history of slavery and long-standing racial disparities.
METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of end-of-life care from the Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet), a regional PCORI-funded database. The sample consisted of 875 White and 415 Black patients with metastatic cancer who died in Louisiana from 2011-2017. We used logistic regression to examine whether race was associated with five indicators of burdensome care in the last 30 days of life: chemotherapy use, inpatient hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, emergency department (ED) admission, and mechanical ventilation.
RESULTS: Most patients (85.0%) received at least one indicator of burdensome care: hospitalization (76.5 %), ICU admission (44.1%), chemotherapy (29.1%), mechanical ventilation (23.0%), ED admission (18.3%). Odds Ratios (ORs) indicated that Black individuals were more likely than White individuals to be hospitalized (OR=1.66, 95% CI: 1.21 to 2.28, p=.002) or admitted to the ED (OR=1.57, 95% CI: 1.16 to 2.13, p=.004) during their last month of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings have implications for informing healthcare decision making near the end of life for patients, families, and clinicians, especially in regions with a history of racial discrimination and disparities.
Background: Patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) have a considerable symptom burden and may require extensive care for a long period of time. Palliative care (PC) has the potential to improve their quality of care and reduce their use of medical services. However, the role of specialised PC (SPC) in patients with MBC remains unclear.
Patients and methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the medical records of patients diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) from 2008 to 2018 at an university-based referral centre to examine the extent of early and late integration of SPC services for patients with MBC. A descriptive analysis of the patients was also established.
Results: In all, 932 patients were diagnosed with BC from 2008 to 2018; 225 of these patients had or developed metastases related to their BC. In addition, 132 patients received SPC (58.7%) and 93 patients did not receive SPC (41.3%). The median probability of overall survival (OS) for patients who did not receive SPC services was 3.6 years (95% CI 2.0 to 5.1) and 1.8 years (95% CI 1.3 to 2.3) (p<0.0001) for patients who did receive SPC. In multivariate analysis, referral to SPC services was independently associated with OS (HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.16 to 2.22, p=0.004).
Conclusion: Patients who received SPC lived significantly shorter amounts of time than patients not referred for SPC services at our hospital. We concluded that the referral to SPC services was often too late and should be implemented earlier in the course of the disease. We suggest that patients with MBC should participate in a consultation by a SPC team =60 days after the start of systemic palliative anticancer therapy in addition to endocrine treatment. Larger prospective studies are needed to evaluate the benefit of the early integration of SPC services for patients with MBC.
BACKGROUND: Psychological distress is highly prevalent among patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
AIMS: To perform an economic evaluation of a combined screening and treatment program targeting psychological distress in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in comparison with usual care.
DESIGN: Societal costs were collected alongside a cluster randomized controlled trial for 48 weeks. A total of 349 participants were included.
SETTING: Participants were recruited from oncology departments at 16 participating hospitals in the Netherlands.
METHODS: Outcome measures were the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and quality-adjusted life-years. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputation. Uncertainty was estimated using bootstrapping. Cost-effectiveness planes and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves were estimated to show uncertainty surrounding the cost-effectiveness estimates. Sensitivity analyses were performed to check robustness of results.
RESULTS: Between treatment arms, no significant differences were found in Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score (mean difference: -0.058; 95% confidence interval: -0.13 to 0.011), quality-adjusted life-years (mean difference: 0.042; 95% confidence interval: -0.015 to 0.099), and societal costs (mean difference: -1152; 95% confidence interval: -5058 to 2214). Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves showed that the probability of cost-effectiveness was 0.64 and 0.74 at willingness-to-pay values of €0 and €10,000 per point improvement on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, respectively. The probability that the intervention was cost-effective compared to usual care for quality-adjusted life-years was 0.64 and 0.79 at willingness-to-pay values of €0 and €20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The intervention is dominant over usual care, primarily due to lower costs in the intervention group. However, there were no statistically significant differences in clinical effects and the uptake of the intervention was quite low. Therefore, widespread implementation cannot be recommended.
Background: Skin metastases from pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma (PNEC) are rare and their palliative treatment is challenging. We report our experience in the multimodal management of one of the few reported cases of metastatic PNEC with multiple visceral and subcutaneous secondary lesions, focusing on the effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy for skin metastases.
Case presentation: A 61-years old woman affected by a metastatic PNEC – with subcutaneous growing and bleeding secondary lesions (at the scalp, right scapular region and at the back of the left thoracic wall, respectively) – obtained a successful control of visceral metastases with the use of chemotherapy and an unexpected local response of her skin metastases with palliative radiotherapy. In particular, two subsequent radiation treatments were performed using different fractionation schedules (30 Gy in 10 fractions and 20 Gy in 5 fractions, respectively). Both radiation treatments were well-tolerated and patient’s quality of life was improved. Local response was maintained until patient’s death – that occurred due to cachexia.
Conclusions: The presented case highlights the effectiveness and the good tolerance of radiotherapy in the treatment of subcutaneous metastases; nevertheless, further knowledge of the optimal local palliative approach for PNEC metastatic sites is necessary. The experience gained in this work is the occasion to encourage a routine integrated multidisciplinary team management of metastatic PNECs because of their clinical complexity. The aim is to guarantee the optimization of the care with personalized and more effective systemic and local treatments – also including supportive cares and treatment-related side effects management.
Context: Increasing emphasis on patient-centered care has led to highlighted importance of shared decision making, which better aligns medical decisions with patient care preferences. Effective shared decision making in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treatment requires prognostic understanding, without which patients may receive treatment inconsistent with personal preferences.
Objectives: To assess MBC patient and provider perspectives on the role of prognostic information in treatment decision making.
Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with MBC patients and community oncologists and separate focus groups involving lay navigators, nurses, and academic oncologists. Qualitative analysis utilized a content analysis approach that included a constant comparative method to generate themes.
Results: Of 20 interviewed patients with MBC, 30% were African American. Academic oncologists were mostly women (60%), community oncologists were all Caucasian, and nurses were all women and 28% African American. Lay navigators were all African American and predominately women (86%). Five emergent themes were identified. (1) Most patients wanted prognostic information but differed in when they wanted to have this conversation, (2) Emotional distress and discomfort was a critical reason for not discussing prognosis, (3) Religious beliefs shaped preferences for prognostic information, (4) Health care professionals differed on prognostic information delivery timing, and (5) Providers acknowledged that an individualized approach taking into account patient values and preferences would be beneficial.
Conclusion: Most MBC patients wanted prognostic information, yet varied in when they wanted this information. Understanding why patients want limited or unrestricted prognostic information can inform oncologists' efforts toward shared decision making.
BACKGROUND: Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is generally incurable, but patients can survive longer than those with other cancer types. Treatment strategies for MBC are complex, and it is difficult to establish evidence of efficacy since symptoms and patient backgrounds vary markedly. Some patients struggle to decide where to receive end-of-life care, despite palliative care intervention, and some die in unexpected places. With the aim of ascertaining the best way to intervene on behalf of patients with end-stage breast cancer, we retrospectively examined interventions provided by our palliative care team. We investigated factors influencing the decision-making processes of patients with MBC regarding end-of-life care locations and where patients actually died.
METHODS: Clinical records of 44 patients with MBC, all Japanese women, who received palliative care interventions at our hospital, were retrospectively investigated. We examined factors, such as age, possibly impacting decision-making processes regarding the final location and actual place of death.
RESULTS: Thirty-five (80%) patients were able to decide where to receive end-of-life care, while the others were not. For these 35 patients, desired locations were the palliative care unit (77%), home palliative care (14%), and the hospital (9%). Age and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were factors influencing patients' decision-making processes (P = .030 and .044, respectively). Of the 35 patients, 25 (71%) were able to receive end-of-life care at their desired locations.
CONCLUSIONS: Young patients and those with short RFS struggled with making decisions regarding where to receive end-of-life care. Such patients might benefit from prompt introduction of advanced care planning.
Background: Adults with metastatic cancer frequently report anxiety and depression symptoms, which may impact health behaviors such as advance care planning (ACP).
Objective: The study leveraged acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), an evidence-based approach for reducing distress and improving health behaviors, and adapted it into a multimodal intervention (M-ACT) designed to address the psychosocial and ACP needs of anxious and depressed adults with metastatic cancer. The study evaluated M-ACT's acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy potential.
Design: The study was designed as a single-arm intervention development and pilot trial.
Setting/Subjects: The trial enrolled 35 anxious or depressed adults with stage IV cancer in community oncology clinics, with a referred-to-enrolled rate of 69% and eligible-to-enrolled rate of 95%.
Measurements: M-ACT alternated four in-person group sessions with three self-paced online sessions. Acceptability and feasibility were assessed through enrollment, attendance, and satisfaction ratings. Outcomes and theorized intervention mechanisms were evaluated at baseline, midintervention, postintervention, and two-month follow-up.
Results: Participant feedback was used to refine the intervention. Of participants starting the intervention, 92% completed, reporting high satisfaction. One-quarter did not begin M-ACT due to health declines, moving, or death. Completers showed significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and fear of dying and increases in ACP and sense of life meaning. In this pilot, M-ACT showed no significant impact on pain interference. Increases in two of three mechanism measures predicted improvement on 80% of significant outcomes.
Conclusions: The M-ACT intervention is feasible, acceptable, and shows potential for efficacy in community oncology settings; a randomized trial is warranted.
BACKGROUND: Patients with cancer often require acute hospitalizations, many of which are unplanned. These hospitalizations have been shown to increase in frequency near the end of life. The American College of Physicians recommends that goals-of-care (GOC) discussions be initiated early for metastatic cancers. We hypothesized that discussing GOC during hospitalization could help reduce readmissions. Our aim was to examine the association between the timing of GOC discussion, length of hospital stay, and the time to readmission.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of medical records of patients with stage IV cancers hospitalized between August 2017 and July 2018. We recorded timing of GOC discussion, use of palliative care services, and hospital readmissions within 90 days. 2 tests were used to identify independent associations with GOC discussion, and logistic regression was used to examine association with readmission within 90 days.
RESULTS: Of all study patients (N = 241), 40.6% were female, 46% (n = 112) had a GOC discussion, and 34% (n = 82) had a palliative care consultation. Having a palliative care consult and being admitted to critical care were independently associated with having a GOC discussion. Early timing of GOC discussion was inversely associated with admission to critical care units (P < .05). Thirty-eight percent (n = 92) had unplanned hospital readmission within 90 days. Having a GOC discussion was independently associated with a reduction in the odds of an unplanned hospital readmission within 90 days by 79% (odds ratio = 0.21, 95% confidence interval: 0.12-0.37).
CONCLUSION: Among hospitalized patients with stage IV cancer, performing an early GOC discussion has an important association with lower hospital readmission rates and increased rates of goal-congruent patient care.
Background: Anticipating and making health care decisions about appropriate or preferred treatment around end-of-life care are intellectually challenging and emotionally distressing for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients, new interventions are needed.
Objective: This study examined the effect of Four Conversations, an online and personalized coping and decision aid curriculum, on the completion of advance care directives and shared decision making among patients and their loved ones, clinicians, and spirit.
Design: Participants were randomized 1:1 to Four Conversations or wait-listed usual care conditions.
Setting: Adult breast cancer survivors with metastatic disease were recruited nationally.
Measurements: Electronic surveys collected self-reported demographic, clinical, and outcome data at baseline and four weeks postintervention.
Results: Participants (N = 252) were mean age 53.6 ± 11.0 years; 100% female; 88% Caucasian; 67% married; and 33% employed. Over half (54%) of treatment arm participants without an advance directive completed one by study end, most (62%) felt that Four Conversations helped them quite a bit or a great deal in making a better decision, and 90% would recommend to others. Difference in the change in decisional conflict scores for treatment and control conditions was not significant (p = 0.07).
Conclusions: These results suggest that Four Conversations facilitated the completion of advance care directives. Given that reductions in decisional conflict scores between the treatment and control arms were not significant, we cannot conclude that program use was associated with improved decisional conflict among MBC survivors. Online programs can be a feasible and effective alternative to in-person support.
Background: The most important decision after diagnosing terminal cancer is whether to provide active therapy or withhold treatment.
Objective: To analyze the aggressiveness of care by evaluating systemic anticancer therapy (SACT) given near to death, describing this care and identifying factors that determine its use.
Design: This involves retrospective observational cohorts study.
Setting/Subjects: This involves patients with metastatic tumors who died at a University Hospital in Spain between 2015 and 2016.
Measurements: Data obtained from prescribing oncologists and patients' clinical records, type of cancer, and information on treatment. The dependent variable used was the interval between the date of the last dose and date of death.
Results: Ninety-four (32.60%) of 288 patients received SACT in the last month of life. This cohort had a higher frequency of lung cancer (OR: 1.58; CI 95%: 1.14-2.18), received more care from oncologist 2 (OR: 1.50; CI 95%: 1.08-2.08), had fewer last-line treatment cycles (OR: 1.28; CI 95%: 1.13-1.45), a lower subjective response (OR: 3.13; CI 95%: 1.34-7.29), less clinical benefit (OR: 2.38; CI 95%: 1.04-5.55), more visits to the Emergency Department (OR: 1.59; CI 95%: 1.06-2.38), and less care from the Palliative Care Unit (OR: 4.55; CI 95%: 2.69-7.70). In multivariate analysis, the predictors of having received SACT close to death remained: receiving fewer cycles of treatment (OR: 1.28; CI 95%: 1.12-1.47) and less palliative care (OR: 4.54; CI 95%: 2.56-7.69).
Conclusions: A third of cancer patients received SACT in the last month of life with less efficacy and poorer quality of care than patients not receiving it.
BACKGROUND: This study investigated the prognostic effects of venous thromboembolism (VTE)-related factors in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer receiving palliative chemotherapy. Predictive factors for VTE were also investigated.
METHODS: A total of 216 patients diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer who received gemcitabine-based palliative chemotherapy at our institution were retrospectively evaluated.
RESULTS: VTE occurred in 51 (23.6%) patients during treatment and did not affect survival. However, patients who were diagnosed with VTE at the beginning of chemotherapy showed poor prognosis compared with patients diagnosed with VTE during chemotherapy: all patients (hazard ratio [HR] 1.897, p = 0.008); patients diagnosed with VTE (HR = 3.768, p = 0.001). Low serum sodium (Na) (< 135 mmol/L) and high Khorana score (=3) were strong predictive factors of early VTE (odds ratio [OR] 5.109; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.010–25.845; p = 0.049 for Khorana score, OR 10.304; 95% CI = 1.036–102.466; p = 0.047) for hyponatremia).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that occurrence and detection of VTE in the early period of chemotherapy was the most significant VTE-related prognostic factor in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer receiving chemotherapy. Prediction using the Khorana score and serum Na levels would be helpful in early diagnosis of VTE.
BACKGROUND:: Patients with metastatic lung cancer are treated with palliative intent. Aggressive care at the end of life is a marker of poor-quality care. National trends and factors related to aggressive inpatient care at the end of life for these patients have not been evaluated.
METHODS:: Patients with stage IV lung cancer and a terminal hospitalization were identified in the National Inpatient Sample database between 1998 and 2014. Longitudinal analysis was conducted to determine trends in aggressive inpatient care at the end of life and multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine associations with patient and hospital characteristics.
RESULTS:: A total of 412,946 patients met the inclusion criteria. From 1998 to 2014, the proportion of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) during the terminal hospitalization increased from 13.3% to 27.9% ( P < .001). The ICU stay translated into a higher mean total cost of care (+$18,461; 95% CI, $17,460 to $19,463). Promisingly, palliative care encounters for terminal hospitalizations also increased during this period from 8.7% to 53.0% ( P < .01) and were correlated with a decrease in aggressive care at the end of life. However, this did not offset the trend in increased ICU use; mean total costs for a terminal hospitalization increased from $14,000 to $19,500, adjusted for inflation. A multivariable model demonstrates variation by patient and hospital characteristics in aggressive care use.
CONCLUSIONS:: Among patients with metastatic lung cancer there has been a substantial increase in ICU use during terminal hospitalizations, resulting in high cost for the health care system.
We know intensive care unit (ICU) use is common among patients with cancer. Up to 5% of patients with solid tumors and 15% of those with hematologic malignancies will spend time in an ICU. It is certainly appropriate for a newly diagnosed person with treatable leukemia to do so, but it becomes less appropriate for someone with advanced disease whose main wish is to die at home. In the ICU, in-hospital, 3-month, and 1-year mortality rates are not much different between patients with cancer and the general population, although progressive cancer, fungal infection, and organ failure predicted worse survival.
[Début de l'article]
Background: Invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), dialysis for acute kidney failure, and other critical care therapies (CCTs) are associated with a high risk for complications in patients with metastatic cancer. Inpatient palliative care (IPC) can assist in assessing patients' preferences for life-prolonging treatment at the end of life. This study investigated the use pattern of IPC, outcomes (in-hospital mortality, length of stay [LOS], discharge destination, and cost of care), and predictors of IPC use in patients with metastatic cancer who received CCTs. We hypothesized that IPC services are underused in this cohort. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we used the 2010 California State Inpatient Databases to identify adults with metastatic cancer who received CCTs that are common and reliably coded (IMV, tracheostomy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube, dialysis for acute kidney failure, and total parenteral nutrition). We determined IPC use in all patients, in those who received IMV, and across 4 cancer subtypes (lung, breast, colorectal, and genitourinary). Outcomes were assessed based on IPC use. Multivariable analyses were used to investigate factors associated with IPC use. Results: We identified 5,862 hospitalizations, 19.8% of which used IPC services. IPC use varied across cancer subtypes (lung, 28.3%; breast, 22.4%; colorectal, 12.8%; genitourinary, 16.1%; P<.01). Patients who received and did not receive IPC services had high in-hospital mortality rates (63.9% and 29.8%, respectively), and costs of care and LOS were lower in survivors who received IPC compared with those who did not. Predictors of IPC use were lung cancer (vs colorectal or genitourinary cancer), higher comorbidity score, do-not-resuscitate status on admission or within 24 hours of admission, infections (vs cancer-related diagnoses), and higher hospital bed count. Conclusions: Use of IPC was low in the cohort who received CCTs with poor outcomes, although data on outpatient palliative care services is lacking. Predictors of IPC use may be used to identify patients who may benefit from these services.
Background: To report the primary endpoint of a randomized trial comparing pain response following palliative stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) versus conventionally-fractionated 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) for previously untreated spinal metastases.
Methods: Fifty-five patients with histologically/radiologically confirmed painful spinal metastases were analyzed in this single-institutional, non-blinded, randomized explorative trial. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive single-fraction SBRT (24 Gy) or 3DCRT (30 Gy in 10 fractions). The primary endpoint was pain relief of >2 points on the visual analog scale (VAS) measured within the irradiated region at 3 months following radiotherapy completion. Other recorded parameters included pain response (per International Bone Consensus response definitions), use of concurrent medications and opioid usage (oral morphine equivalent dose, OMED). All parameters were assessed at baseline and at three and six months after RT. Intention-to-treat analysis was applied. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02358720.
Findings: Despite no significant differences for VAS at 3 months between groups (p = 0.13), pain values decreased faster within this time period in the SBRT arm (p = 0.01). At 6 months following RT, significantly lower VAS values were reported in the SBRT group (p = 0.002). There were no differences in OMED consumption at 3 (p = 0.761) and 6 months (p = 0.174). There was a trend toward improved pain response in the SBRT arm at 3 months (p = 0.057), but significantly so after 6 months (p = 0.003). No patient in the SBRT group experienced grade =3 toxicities according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v.4.03.
Conclusions: This randomized trial demonstrates the utility of palliative SBRT for spinal metastases, which was associated with a quicker and improved pain response. Larger ongoing randomized studies will assist in further addressing these endpoints.