BACKGROUND: Dignity is an inherent value in palliative care, but understanding dignity among people living with and hospitalized for incurable esophageal cancer has not been explored.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to empirically explore the meaning of dignity in people hospitalized with incurable esophageal cancer.
METHODS: A qualitative hermeneutic approach, inspired by Gadamer, guided the research process and interpretation of the transcribed interviews. Eighteen patients participated in the study.
RESULTS: The meaning of dignity was revealed as reverential response in care relationships and eating as an undignifying activity. A balance of the healthcare system's framework with the lifeworld of the patient was significant in preserving dignity and gave patients a sense of reverent response. Patients were unable to eat ordinary daily meals, which affected their perception of own body and identity, including interactions with others. The resulting bodily changes and social consequences were of crucial importance to the perceived dignity.
CONCLUSIONS: A dialogical and understanding approach is significant in making the patient feel worthy, consequently helping to uphold a sense of dignity. The changing and decaying body due to eating difficulties bears witness to illness, altering the individual's sense of self, in turn threatening the dignity of identity.
IMPLICATION FOR PRACTICE: The care should be based on a reverential response based on the patients' lifeworld. In doing so, storytelling might be a way. Palliative care for these people needs to stress that patients share other aspects of life that is not totally dominated by their illness, inability to eat, and unrecognizable body.
Background: The gut microbiome changes are related to the colorectal cancer (CRC). Chemotherapy is one of the main treatment methods for CRC.
Purpose: To explore the effect of chemotherapy on the gut bacteria and fungi in CRC.
Methods: Total of 11 advanced CRC patients treated with the FOLFIRI regimen, 15 postoperative CRC patients treated with the XELOX regimen, and corresponding CRC patients without surgery and chemotherapy were recruited. The 16S ribosomal RNA and ITS sequences were sequenced, and bioinformatics analysis was executed to screen for the distinctive gut microbiome.
Results: The abundances of Veillonella, Humicola, Tremellomycetes and Malassezia were increased in postoperative CRC patients treated with the XELOX regimen. The abundances of Faecalibacterium, Clostridiales, phascolarctobacterium, Humicola and Rhodotorula were decreased, and the abundances of Candida, Magnusiomyces, Tremellomycetes, Dipodascaceae, Saccharomycetales, Malassezia and Lentinula were increased in advanced CRC patients treated with the FOLFIRI regimen. The abundances of Humicola, Rhodotorula, and Magnusiomyces were decreased, and the abundances of Candida, Tremellomycetes, Dipodascaceae, Saccharomycetales, Malassezia and Lentinula were increased in advanced CRC patients treated with the FOLFIRI regimen combined with cetuximab compared with those treated with the FOLFIRI regimen alone.
Conclusions: The community structure of gut bacteria and fungi changes in chemotherapy on CRCs.
Introduction: Proactive palliative care can effectively relieve symptoms early and effectively as well as improve the quality of life of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC).
Areas covered: the review summarizes palliative care for GAC. GAC caused specific symptoms, such as malignant gastric outlet obstruction (GOO), bleeding, weight loss, and/or ascites, therefore, these symptoms must be addressed specifically.
Expert opinion: Palliative care should start early to control general symptoms, thus may improve the patient’s condition to make the patient eligible for anti-cancer treatment. As some stage IV GAC patients can now live longer, palliative interventions become more important. A multimodality interdisciplinary approach is strongly encouraged.
This study aimed to analyze the trends of opioid use disorders, cannabis use disorders, and palliative care among hospitalized patients with gastrointestinal cancer and to identify their associated factors.
We analyzed the National Inpatient Sample data from 2005 to 2014 and included hospitalized patients with gastrointestinal cancers. The trends of hospital palliative care and opioid or cannabis use disorders were analyzed using the compound annual growth rates (CAGR) with Rao-Scott correction for 2 tests. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associated factors.
From 2005 to 2014, among 4,364,416 hospitalizations of patients with gastrointestinal cancer, the average annual rates of opioid and cannabis use disorders were 0.4% (n = 19,520), and 0.3% (n = 13,009), respectively. The utilization rate of hospital palliative care was 6.2% (n = 268,742). They all sharply increased for 10 years (CAGR = 9.61%, 22.2%, and 21.51%, respectively). The patients with a cannabis use disorder were over 4 times more likely to have an opioid use disorder (Odds ratios, OR = 4.029; P < .001). Hospital palliative care was associated with higher opioid use disorder rates, higher in-hospital mortality, shorter length of hospital stay, and lower hospital charges. (OR = 1.527, 9.980, B = -0.054 and -0.386; each of P < .001).
The temporal trends of opioid use disorders and hospital palliative care use among patients with gastrointestinal cancer increased from 2005 to 2014, which is mostly attributed to patients with a higher risk of in-hospital mortality. Cannabis use disorders were associated with opioid use disorders. Palliative care was associated with both reduced lengths of stay and hospital charge.
Background: Oesophageal and gastric cancer are highly lethal malignancies with a 5-year survival rate of 15–29%. More knowledge is needed about the quality of end-of-life care in order to understand the burden of the illness and the ability of the current health care system to deliver timely and appropriate end-of-life care. The aim of this study was to describe the impact of initial treatment strategy and survival time on the quality of end-of-life care among patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer.
Methods: This register-based cohort study included patients who died from oesophageal and gastric cancer in Sweden during 2014–2016. Through linking data from the National Register for Esophageal and Gastric Cancer, the National Cause of Death Register, and the Swedish Register of Palliative Care, 2156 individuals were included. Associations between initial treatment strategy and survival time and end-of-life care quality indicators were investigated. Adjusted risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using modified Poisson regression.
Results : Patients with a survival of =3 months and 4–7 months had higher RRs for hospital death compared to patients with a survival =17 months. Patients with a survival of =3 months also had a lower RR for end-of-life information and bereavement support compared to patients with a survival =17 months, while the risks of pain assessment and oral assessment were not associated with survival time. Compared to patients with curative treatment, patients with no tumour-directed treatment had a lower RR for pain assessment. No significant differences were shown between the treatment groups regarding hospital death, end-of-life information, oral health assessment, and bereavement support.
Conclusions : Short survival time is associated with several indicators of low quality end-of-life care among patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer, suggesting that a proactive palliative care approach is imperative to ensure quality end-of-life care.
Context: Although it is well known that patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (PC) experience significant symptom burden, few strategies for effective symptom intervention are available for them.
Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of minocycline, an anti-inflammatory agent, for symptom reduction in patients with advanced PC.
Methods: We conducted Phase II, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial to obtain preliminary estimates of the effects on symptom reduction with 100 mg of minocycline or placebo given twice a day. Eligible patients had diagnosed advanced PC and were scheduled for standard chemotherapy. Patient-reported symptoms were measured weekly during the eight-week trial using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) module in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. The primary outcome measure was the area under the curve values of the five most severe symptoms in the two arms.
Results: Of the 44 patients recruited, 31 (71%) were evaluable for the primary efficacy analysis, with 18 received minocycline and 13 placebo. Fatigue, pain, disturbed sleep, lack of appetite, and drowsiness were the most severe symptoms reported by both groups. No significant differences in area under the curve values over time between the study arms were found for the composite MDASI score or single-item scores of the five most severe MDASI items. No treatment-related deaths were reported, and no Grade 3–4 toxicities were observed.
Conclusion: Minocycline is safe for use in patients receiving treatment for PC. There is no observed symptom reduction with minocycline on the major symptom burden associated with advanced PC compared with placebo. Attrition because of rapid disease progression impacted the study significantly.
BACKGROUND: Previous research on chemotherapy discontinuation has mainly focused on predictive factors and outcomes. Few data are available on the reasons for chemotherapy discontinuation. The main objective was to identify the reasons for chemotherapy discontinuation in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. The secondary objectives were to describe the announcement of chemotherapy discontinuation and the time between chemotherapy discontinuation and death.
METHODS: This prospective multicenter French cohort included patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer, for whom chemotherapy was discontinued between May 2016 and January 2018.
RESULTS: One hundred and fourteen patients were analyzed. The first cause of chemotherapy discontinuation was the impairment of general condition (asthenia, cachexia). Complications such as sepsis, jaundice or occlusion, were the second most frequent cause. Progression was observed at chemotherapy discontinuation in two-thirds of cases. The announcement of the chemotherapy discontinuation was made formally in 74% of cases, with a follow-up by a palliative care team initiated in 50% of cases. Sixty-nine percent of the patients received chemotherapy during the last three months of life and 26% during the last month. The median time between chemotherapy discontinuation and death was 65 days (IQR: 36.5-109): 44% of patients died at the hospital, 39% in a palliative care unit and 16% at home.
CONCLUSION: Impairment of general condition was the major reason for chemotherapy discontinuation in patients with gastrointestinal cancers. Complications such as jaundice, sepsis or occlusion, were important reasons for discontinuation and could explain our shorter time between chemotherapy discontinuation and death, compared to other oncology sub-specialties.
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.
Purpose: Palliative care is recommended for patients with metastatic cancer, but there has been limited research about embedded palliative care for specific patient populations. We describe the impact of a pilot program that provided routine, early, integrated palliative care to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Methods: Mixed methods pre-post intervention cohort study at an academic cancer center. Thirty control then 30 intervention patients with metastatic colorectal cancer were surveyed at baseline and 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months thereafter about symptoms, quality-of-life, and likelihood of cure. We compared survey responses, trends over time, rates of advance care planning, and healthcare utilization between groups. Patients, family caregivers, and clinicians were interviewed.
Results: Patients in the intervention group were followed for an average of 6.5 months and had an average of 3.5 palliative care visits. At baseline, symptoms were mild (average 1.85/10) and 78.2% of patients reported good/excellent quality-of-life. Half (50.9%) believed they were likely to be cured of cancer. Over time, symptoms and quality-of-life metrics remained similar between groups, however intervention patients were more realistic about their likelihood of cure (p = 0.008). Intervention patients were more likely to have a surrogate documented (83.3% vs. 26.7%, p < 0.0001), an advance directive completed (63.3% vs. 13.3%, p < 0.0001), and non-full code status (43.3% vs. 16.7%, p < 0.03). All patients and family caregivers would recommend the program to others with cancer.
Conclusions: We describe the impact of an embedded palliative care program for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, which improved prognostic awareness and rates of advance care planning.
Lucie a quatre ans de moins que Camille, sa soeur chérie. Elles ont perdu leur père et elles s'adorent. Camille a un cancer du pancréas, rare, fulgurant, elle meurt. C'est une conversation d'amour déchirant les souvenirs heureux, le cauchemar, puis la chute. Lucie sera sauvée par la bienveillance d'une association d'aide au deuil pour les jeunes, une résurrection.
PURPOSE: The median overall survival (OS) for metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (mPDAC) is < 1 year. Factors that contribute to quality of life during treatment are critical to quantify. One factor-time spent obtaining clinical services-is understudied. We quantified total outpatient time among patients with mPDAC receiving palliative systemic chemotherapy.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis using four patient-level time measures calculated from the medical record of patients with mPDAC receiving 5-fluorouracil infusion, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan; gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel; or gemcitabine within the University of Pennsylvania Health System between January 1, 2011 and January 15, 2019. These included the total number of health care encounter days (any day with at least one visit) and total visit time. Total visit time represented the time spent receiving care (care time) plus time spent commuting and waiting for care (noncare time). We performed descriptive statistics on these outpatient time metrics and compared the number of encounter days to OS.
RESULTS: A total of 362 patients were identified (median age, 65 years; 52% male; 78% white; 62% received gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel). Median OS was 230.5 days (7.6 months), with 79% of patients deceased at the end of follow-up. On average, patients had 22 health care encounter days, accounting for 10% of their total days survived. Median visit time was 4.6 hours, of which 2.5 hours was spent commuting or waiting for care.
CONCLUSION: On average, patients receiving palliative chemotherapy for mPDAC spend 10% of survival time on outpatient health care. More than half of this time is spent commuting and waiting for care. These findings provide an important snapshot of the patient experience during ambulatory care, and efforts to enhance efficiency of care delivery may be warranted.
Background: Although combination chemotherapy (CC) is generally recommended in recurrent or primary metastatic gastric cancer (RPMGC), the results of randomized trials are conflicting.
Methods: A retrospective review was conducted on 687 RPMGC patients who received palliative chemotherapy. We compared the overall survival (OS) between CC and single-agent chemotherapy (SC) among these patients, and we analyzed the clinicopathological characteristics affecting outcome including neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR).
Results: Although 521 patients (75.8%) underwent CC, SC was more frequently performed in elderly patients (57.6%) and ECOG performance status (PS) 2 or 3 (65.8%) patients (p < 0.0001, in each case). The median OS of patients who received CC was significantly longer than that of patients who received SC (11 vs. 8 months, p < 0.0001). No difference in OS between CC and SC was observed in elderly patients (p = 0.583), poor PS (p = 0.810), signet ring cell (p = 0.347), palliative surgical resection (p = 0.307), and high PLR (p = 0.120), with a significant interaction between age and type of regimen (p = 0.012). Moreover, there was no difference in OS between CC and SC after propensity score matching (p = 0.322). Multivariate analysis revealed that palliative resection and = second-line chemotherapy were independently associated with favorable OS (p < 0.0001, in each case), whereas poor PS (p = 0.004), signet ring cell (p < 0.0001), peritoneal metastasis (p = 0.04), high NLR (p = 0.001), and high PLR (p = 0.033) were independent prognostic factors of poor OS.
Conclusions: Although CC is the standard of care in RPMGC, SC can be considered a reasonable option in certain subgroups, such as elderly patients.
The optimal first-line palliative systemic treatment strategy for metastatic esophagogastric cancer is not well defined. The aim of our study was to explore real-world use of first-line systemic treatment in esophagogastric cancer and assess the effect of treatment strategy on overall survival (OS), time to failure (TTF) of first-line treatment and toxicity. We selected synchronous metastatic esophagogastric cancer patients treated with systemic therapy (2010-2016) from the nationwide Netherlands Cancer Registry (n = 2,204). Systemic treatment strategies were divided into monotherapy, doublet and triplet chemotherapy, and trastuzumab-containing regimens. Data on OS were available for all patients, on TTF for patients diagnosed from 2010 to 2015 (n = 1,700), and on toxicity for patients diagnosed from 2010 to 2014 (n = 1,221). OS and TTF were analyzed using multivariable Cox regression, with adjustment for relevant tumor and patient characteristics. Up to 45 different systemic treatment regimens were found to be administered, with a median TTF of 4.6 and OS of 7.5 months. Most patients (45%) were treated with doublet chemotherapy; 34% received triplets, 10% monotherapy and 10% a trastuzumab-containing regimen. The highest median OS was found in patients receiving a trastuzumab-containing regimen (11.9 months). Triplet chemotherapy showed equal survival rates compared to doublets (OS: HR 0.92, 95%CI 0.83-1.02; TTF: HR 0.92, 95%CI 0.82-1.04) but significantly more grade 3-5 toxicity than doublets (33% vs. 21%, respectively). In conclusion, heterogeneity of first-line palliative systemic treatment in metastatic esophagogastric cancer patients is striking. Based on our data, doublet chemotherapy is the preferred treatment strategy because of similar survival and less toxicity compared to triplets.
Background: Economic analyses of end-of-life care often focus on single aspects of care in selected cohorts leading to limited knowledge on the total level of care required to patients at their end-of-life. We aim at describing the living situation and full range of health care provided to patients at their end-of-life, including how informal care affects formal health care provision, using the case of colorectal cancer.
Methods: All colorectal cancer decedents between 2009 and 2013 in Norway (n = 7695) were linked to six national registers. The registers included information on decedents’ living situation (days at home, in short- or long-term institution or in the hospital), their total health care utilization and costs in the secondary, primary and home- and community-based care setting. The effect of informal care was assessed through marital status (never married, currently married, or previously married) using regression analyses (negative binominal, two-part models and generalized linear models), controlling for age, gender, comorbidities, education, income, time since diagnosis and year of death.
Results: The average patient spent four months at home, while he or she spent 27 days in long-term institutions, 16 days in short-term institutions, and 21 days in the hospital. Of the total costs (~NOK 400,000), 58, 3 and 39% were from secondary carers (hospitals), primary carers (general practitioners and emergency rooms) and home- and community-based carers (home care and nursing homes), respectively. Compared to the never married, married patients spent 30 more days at home and utilized less home- and community-based care, but more health care services at the secondary and primary health care level. Their total healthcare costs were significantly lower (-NOK 65,621) than the never married. We found similar, but weaker, patterns for those who had been married previously.
Conclusion: End-of-life care is primarily provided in the secondary and home-and community-based care level, and informal caregivers have a substantial influence on formal end-of-life care provision. Excluding aspects of care such as home and community-based care or informal care in economic analyses of end-of-life care provides a biased picture of the total resources required, and might lead to inefficient resource allocations.
Background: The Dutch guidelines for esophageal and gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancer recommend discussion of patients by a multidisciplinary tumor board (MDT). Despite this recommendation, one previous study in the Netherlands suggested that therapeutic guidance was missing for palliative care of patients with esophageal cancer. The aim of the current study was therefore to assess the impact of an MDT discussion on initial palliative treatment and outcome of patients with esophageal or GEJ cancer.
Material and methods: The population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry was used to identify patients treated for esophageal or GEJ cancer with palliative intent between 2010 and 2017 in 7 hospitals. We compared patients discussed by the MDT with patients not discussed by the MDT in a multivariate analysis. Primary outcome was type of initial palliative treatment. Secondary outcome was overall survival.
Results: A total of 389/948 (41%) patients with esophageal or GEJ cancer were discussed by the MDT before initial palliative treatment. MDT discussion compared to non-MDT discussion was associated with more patients treated with palliative intent external beam radiotherapy (38% vs. 21%, OR 2.7 [95% CI 1.8–3.9]) and systemic therapy (30% vs. 23%, OR 1.6 [95% CI 1.0–2.5]), and fewer patients treated with stent placement (4% vs. 12%, OR 0.3 [95% CI 0.1–0.6]) and best supportive care alone (12% vs. 33%, OR 0.2 [95% CI 0.1–0.3]). MDT discussion was also associated with improved survival (169 days vs. 107 days, HR 1.3 [95% CI 1.1–1.6]).
Conclusion: Our study shows that MDT discussion of patients with esophageal or GEJ cancer resulted in more patients treated with initial palliative radiotherapy and chemotherapy compared with patients not discussed by the MDT. Moreover, MDT discussion may have a positive effect on survival, highlighting the importance of MDT meetings at all stages of treatment.
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with referral to an exclusive palliative care unit (PCU) in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: Retrospective cohort study with patients having CRC of both sexes treated at a hospital unit, aged = 20 years. Data were extracted from the medical records of pretreatment patients between January 2008 and August 2014. The outcome was referral to the PCU within 5 years. Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess whether sociodemographic, clinical, nutritional, and biochemistry data were associated to referral, generating odds ratios (OR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
RESULTS: Four hundred fifteen patients were evaluated. The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment demonstrated a prevalence of malnutrition of 57.3%. One hundred one (24.3%) patients were referred to the PCU after 16.3 months (interquartile range: 7.2-33.5). These patients were more likely to be at an advanced stage of the disease and have malnutrition and exacerbated systemic inflammation. Tumor stage III and IV (OR: 2.05; 95% CI: 1.12-3.76) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) =3 (OR: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.12-3.17) were predictors of an increased chance of referral to the PCU.
CONCLUSION: Advanced disease stage and NLR were associated with referral of patients with CCR to a PCU.
Background: We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial of early integrated palliative and oncology care in patients with advanced cancer to confirm the benefits of early palliative care (PC) seen in prior single-center studies.
Methods: We randomly assigned patients with newly diagnosed incurable cancer to early integrated palliative and oncology care (n = 195) or usual oncology care (n = 196) at sites through the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. Patients assigned to the intervention were expected to meet with a PC clinician at least monthly until death, whereas usual care patients consulted PC on request. The primary endpoint was the change in quality of life from baseline to week 12 per the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G). Secondary outcomes included anxiety, depression, and communication about prognosis and end-of-life care.
Results: Due to significant morbidity and a high proportion of measures that were not completed within the protocol window or for unknown reasons, the rate of missing data was high. We anticipated that 70% of patients (n = 280) would complete the FACT-G at baseline and week 12, but only 49.3% (n = 193/391) completed the measure. Delivery of the intervention was also suboptimal, as 14.9% (n = 29/195) of intervention patients had no PC visits by week 12. Intervention patients reported a mean 3.35 (standard deviation [SD] = 14.7) increase in FACT-G scores from baseline to week 12 compared with usual care patients who reported a 0.12 (SD = 12.7) increase from baseline (p = 0.10).
Conclusion: This study highlights the difficulties of conducting multicenter trials of supportive care interventions in patients with advanced cancer. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02349412.
Objective: Even when medical treatments are limited, supporting patients’ coping strategies could improve their quality of life. Greater understanding of patients’ coping strategies, and influencing factors, can aid developing such support. We examined the prevalence of coping strategies and associated variables.
Methods: We used sociodemographic and baseline data from the ACTION trial, including measures of Denial, Acceptance, and Problem-focused coping (COPE; Brief COPE inventory), of patients with advanced cancer from six European countries. Clinicians provided clinical information. Linear mixed models with clustering at hospital level were used.
Results: Data from 675 patients with stage III/IV lung (342, 51%) or stage IV colorectal (333, 49%) cancer were used; mean age 66 (10 SD) years. Overall, patients scored low on Denial and high on Acceptance and Problem-focused coping. Older age was associated with higher scores on Denial than younger age (ß = 0.05; CI[0.023; 0.074]), and patients from Italy (ß = 1.57 CI[0.760; 2.388]) and Denmark (ß = 1.82 CI[0.881; 2.750]) scored higher on Denial than patients in other countries.
Conclusions: Patients with advanced cancer predominantly used Acceptance and Problem-focused coping, and Denial to a lesser extent. Since the studied coping strategies of patients with advanced cancer vary between subpopulations, we recommend taking these factors into account when developing tailored interventions to support patients’ coping strategies.
A 72-year-old man was admitted to the hospital with fatigue. Colonoscopy revealed a 50 × 50 mm rectal tumor with bleeding. Based on close inspection, he was diagnosed with unresectable advanced rectal cancer with multiple liver metastases. Chemotherapy was administered as 10 cycles of bevacizumab + mFOLFOX6 and 7 cycles of bevacizumab + FOLFIRI. Nine months later, he presented with hematochezia and progression of anemia. It was difficult to stop the bleeding via endoscopy. He underwent radiation therapy (39 Gy in 13 fractions), and hemostasis was confirmed. Then, further chemotherapy was performed with 3 cycles of bevacizumab + FOLFIRI and 2 cycles of TAS102. However 14 months after the initial visit, he presented with right hypochondralgia and abdominal fullness due to the progression of multiple liver metastases. Palliative low-dose whole-liver radiation therapy (WLRT) (30 Gy in 10 fractions) was performed. He developed Grade 2 nausea, but his right hypochondralgia reduced, liver dysfunction improved, and he successfully completed radiotherapy. At approximately the same time his anemia progressed, and colonoscopy revealed recurrent bleeding from the tumor. Re-irradiation (15 Gy in 5 fractions) of the rectal tumor was carried out and a blood transfusion was performed for the bleeding. He was discharged after confirmation the anemia had not progressed. Few reports have been published on the use of both palliative re-irradiation to stop bleeding from rectal cancer and palliative low-dose WLRT. Based on our experience with this case, we believe that palliative radiotherapy can be useful in treating patients with a poor prognosis.