Background: Multidisciplinary meeting (MDM) discussion and early palliative care are recommended in lung cancer management. The literature is unclear whether MDM discussion leads to early palliative care and improved end-of-life care.
Aims: To evaluate impacts of discussion at an Australian lung MDM on palliative care referral, and MDM and early palliative care on aggressive end-of-life care.
Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional study was conducted of 352 patients diagnosed with primary lung cancer from 2017 to 2019 at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. The primary question was whether MDM discussion influenced palliative care referrals. Secondary questions were whether MDM discussion and early palliative care reduced aggressive treatment (chemotherapy, hospitalisation, emergency department visits, intensive care admission, and in-hospital death) during the last 30 days of life. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine independent association between MDM discussion and palliative care referral.
Results: MDM discussion did not independently impact palliative care referral. There was reduced likelihood of MDM presentation in patients with metastatic disease (p<0.0001) and poorer performance status (p=0.025), and higher likelihood of palliative care referral in these patients (both p<0.001). MDM discussion reduced end-of-life ICU admission in patients with metastatic disease (p=0.04). A palliative care referral-to-death interval of =30 days was associated with reduced hospitalisation at end-of-life (p<0.0001) and hospital deaths (p=0.001).
Conclusion: Discussion at lung MDM did not increase palliative care referral, but did reduce ICU admission among metastatic patients at end-of-life. Longer palliative care referral-to-death interval was associated with reduced aggressive end-of-life care. Further research is needed in these areas.
BACKGROUND: Missing data are common in end-of-life care studies, but there is still relatively little exploration of which is the best method to deal with them, and, in particular, if the missing at random (MAR) assumption is valid or missing not at random (MNAR) mechanisms should be assumed. In this paper we investigated this issue through a sensitivity analysis within the ACTION study, a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial testing advance care planning in patients with advanced lung or colorectal cancer.
METHODS: Multiple imputation procedures under MAR and MNAR assumptions were implemented. Possible violation of the MAR assumption was addressed with reference to variables measuring quality of life and symptoms. The MNAR model assumed that patients with worse health were more likely to have missing questionnaires, making a distinction between single missing items, which were assumed to satisfy the MAR assumption, and missing values due to completely missing questionnaire for which a MNAR mechanism was hypothesized. We explored the sensitivity to possible departures from MAR on gender differences between key indicators and on simple correlations.
RESULTS: Up to 39% of follow-up data were missing. Results under MAR reflected that missingness was related to poorer health status. Correlations between variables, although very small, changed according to the imputation method, as well as the differences in scores by gender, indicating a certain sensitivity of the results to the violation of the MAR assumption.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings confirmed the importance of undertaking this kind of analysis in end-of-life care studies.
Background: Rather than early hospice enrollment, most Medicare beneficiaries receive “usual care” in the last months of life, outside of the hospice setting. While care intensity during the last weeks of life has been studied extensively, patterns of symptom management services (SMS) and/or cancer-directed therapies (CDT) received over a 6-month end-of-life period have not.
Methods: This retrospective study used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare database to identify decedents diagnosed with lung cancer at age = 66 years between January 2007 and December 2013 who survived = 6 months from diagnosis. Medicare claims identified receipt of SMS and/or CDT. We created monthly indicators for care content (SMS-only, CDT-only, or both; otherwise full-month hospice or inpatient/skilled nursing). Multinomial logistic regression estimated associations between sociodemographics and comorbidity, with care content in the final month.
Results: Between 6 and 1 months before death, full-month hospice and inpatient/skilled nursing increased; CDT decreased from 31.9 to 18.5%; SMS increased from 86.6 to 97.7%. Relative to full-month hospice, the percentage of patients receiving SMS-only was higher for males, unmarried, younger age, and higher comorbidity; the percentage receiving CDT was also higher for males, unmarried, and younger age, but decreased with increasing comorbidity and over calendar time.
Conclusion: Among lung cancer decedents observed in the outpatient, nonhospice setting, SMS receipt increased and was nearly universal as death approached. CDT diminished dramatically over the end-of-life period. Associations between sociodemographic characteristics and care setting suggest differences in care preferences or access barriers. Claims represent an important resource for characterizing end-of-life care patterns..
BACKGROUND: There is limited knowledge regarding the quality of dying and death (QODD) and end-of-life interventions in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD). Hence, differences in QODD and end-of-life interventions between patients with ILD and those with lung cancer (LC) remain poorly understood.
METHODS: The primary aim of this study was to explore the differences in QODD and end-of-life interventions among patients dying with ILD versus those dying with LC. We performed a mail survey to quantify the QODD of a bereaved family's perspective using the Good Death Inventory (GDI) score. Moreover, we examined the end-of-life interventions by medical chart review.
RESULTS: Of 361 consecutive patients analysed for end-of-life interventions, 167 patients whose bereaved families completed questionnaires were analysed for QODD. Patients with ILD had lower GDI scores for QODD than those with LC (p=0.04), particularly in domains related to 'physical and psychological distress relief' and 'prognosis awareness and participation in decision making' (p=0.02, respectively). In end-of-life interventions, patients with ILD were less likely to receive specialised palliative care services (8.5% vs 54.3%; p<0.001) and opioids (58.2% vs 73.4%; p=0.003). Additionally, lower frequencies of participation of patients with ILD in end-of-life discussion were also observed (40.8% vs 62.4%; p=0.007).
CONCLUSION: Patients with ILD had lower QODD and poorer access to palliative care and decision making than those with LC. Additional efforts to improve QODD in patients with ILD, particularly in symptom relief and decision-making processes, are urgently warranted.
Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown to reduce psychological distress in cancer patients but not their partners. Whether MBSR can support patients and partners in coping with the dying and grieving process is less well examined.
Aim: We aimed to gain more insight in the role of mindfulness in the dying and grieving process from the perspective of the partner after the patient’s death.
Design: As part of a pilot study or subsequent randomized controlled trial, partners had participated together with the patient in MBSR. After the patient’s death partners were invited for qualitative in-depth interviews. Data from the interviews was analyzed using the grounded theory approach.
Setting/participants: Interviews were conducted with 11 partners in their homes, on average 11 months after the patient’s death (SD = 7.8).
Results: Mindfulness helped couples to allow and regulate difficult thoughts and feelings, which in turn helped them to accept the patient’s impending death. It also facilitated them to enjoy things together and communicate more openly. For a few couples, however, participation was physically too burdensome or emotionally too confrontational. During the partners’ grieving process, mindfulness helped allowing difficult thoughts and feelings, and taking the time to grieve, which helped them to take good care of themselves, giving them faith in the future.
Conclusion: The present study showed that MBSR can facilitate lung cancer patients and their partners in accepting the forthcoming death and openly communicating about this, which can support a peaceful death and healthy grieving process.
La constipation est l’effet indésirable le plus fréquemment décrit par les patients bénéficiant d’un traitement opioïde au long cours. C’est la raison pour laquelle la constipation induite par les opioïdes doit avant tout faire l’objet d’une approche préventive. Les objectifs de notre travail sont d’évaluer la prévalence de la constipation et d’étudier ses caractéristiques chez les patients suivis pour cancer du poumon et traités par opioïdes. À travers ce travail nous décrivons les moyens de prise en charge préventive et curative de la constipation induite par les opioïdes.
Introduction: It has been suggested that palliative care integrated into standard cancer treatment from the early phase of the disease can improve the quality of life of patients with cancer. In this paper, we present the protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of a nurse-led, screening-triggered, early specialised palliative care intervention programme for patients with advanced lung cancer.
Methods and analysis: A total of 206 patients will be randomised (1:1) to the intervention group or the control group (usual care). The intervention, triggered with a brief self-administered screening tool, comprises comprehensive need assessments, counselling and service coordination by advanced-level nurses. The primary outcome is the Trial Outcome Index of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) at 12 weeks. The secondary outcomes include participants’ quality of life (FACT-Lung), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), illness perception (Prognosis and Treatment Perceptions Questionnaire), medical service use and survival. A mixed-method approach is expected to provide an insight about how this intervention works.
Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the National Cancer Center Japan (approval number: 2016-235). The findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations and will be reflected on to the national healthcare policy.
Trial registration number UMIN000025491.
CONTEXT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer patients report several symptoms at the end-of-life, and may share palliative care needs. However, these disease groups have distinct healthcare use.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the frequency and length of hospitalisations during the last month of life between COPD and lung cancer patients, assessing the main characteristics associated with these outcomes.
METHODS: Data was retrieved from the Portuguese Hospital Morbidity Database. Deceased patients in a public hospital from mainland Portugal (2010-2015), with COPD as the main diagnosis of the last hospitalisation (n=2942) were sex- and age-matched (1:1) with patients with lung cancer. The association of patients' main diagnosis, and individual, hospital and area of residence characteristics, on frequency (>1) and length (>14 days) of end-of-life hospitalisations were quantified through adjusted odds ratio (OR), and respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).
RESULTS: Hospitalisations for >14 days during the last month of life were more likely for lung cancer than COPD patients (OR=1.12, 95%CI:1.00-1.25). Among COPD patients, male sex (OR=1.50, 95%CI:1.25-1.80) and death in a large hospital (OR=1.82, 95%CI:1.41-2.35) were positively associated with longer hospitalisations; the occurrence of >1 hospitalisation and hospitalisations for >14 days were less likely among those from rural areas (OR=0.72, 95%CI:0.55-0.94; OR=0.67, 95%CI:0.54-0.83, respectively). In lung cancer patients, male sex was negatively associated with longer hospitalisations (OR=0.82, 95%CI:0.69-0.98).
CONCLUSIONS: At the end-of-life, lung cancer patients had longer hospitalisations than COPD patients, and the main characteristics associated with the frequency and length of hospitalisations differed according to the patients' main diagnosis.
BACKGROUND: Progress in advance care planning (ACP) in China has been hindered for decades compared with other countries.
AIMS: To describe knowledge of ACP, end-of-life care preferences and the predictors of their preference for ACP and who should mention ACP among Chinese lung cancer patients.
METHODS: Questionnaire-based interview were carried out. 258 lung cancer patients were recruited when first admitted in Tongji Hospital from October 2017 to November 2018. Social-demographic factors, which may influence patients' preference on ACP decisions and who should mention ACP, were evaluated by multivariate Logistic Regression analysis.
RESULTS: 91.1% of the patients (n = 235) favoured ACP on End of life (EOL) issues. 160 (60%) patients wish to make EOL decisions on their own. Only 10% of patients were familiar with Advance Directions. 82 (31.8%) patients were familiar with Do not resuscitate/Do not intubate (DNR/DNI) directions. ACP was not mentioned in 92.2% of patients. Gender (men, OR = 4.87 (2.16-5.83)), tumour stage (Stage III, OR = 0.108 (0.06-0.51); Stage IV, OR = 1.780 (1.02-2.11)) and the number of children (every increase in the number of children, OR = 0.267 (0.09-0.93)) were the significant predictors of the preference for autonomous ACP. Female patients and patients currently receiving treatment are 2.743 and 1.8 times respectively, more willing to need ACP initiated by doctors.
CONCLUSIONS: Chinese patients showed preferences toward ACP but with inadequate knowledge. More assistance is needed on ACP among those patients especially for females, patients with one child and early-stage lung cancer. For female patients and patients receiving treatment, doctors may initiate ACP dialogue first.
The most common cause of mortality due to malignant neoplasms in the general population around the world is lung cancer. In the last 10 years, there has been an enormous improvement in the treatment of this disease, mainly due to the immunotherapy that activates the immune system to fight cancer. Patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer are a special group of patients requiring not only cancer treatment but also considerable support in the treatment of cancer-related problems, as well as comorbidities. Early palliative care is important in this area. In addition, there is certain evidence that medicines most commonly administered in palliative care may lower the efficacy of immunotherapy. The present review article compares information on the prolonging of life after early hospice care, which has become the foundation of current standards of management in patients with metastatic lung cancer, and reports of decreased efficacy of the immunotherapy due to the administration of major palliative care medications.
Background: African Americans with lung cancer are diagnosed at later stages and have high mortality rates. Chemotherapy is considered aggressive treatment near the end of life and prevents enrollment in hospice.
Objectives: This study explored chemotherapy in the last 30 and 14 days of life among African Americans with lung cancer.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was used to gather sociodemographic and treatment data on persons newly diagnosed with lung cancer between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. African Americans with a documented date of death were included.
Results: The mean age (N=74) was 64.0 years, 58.1% were rural dwellers, and 59.5% had Medicare. Most had advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (Stage IIIB, 18.8%; Stage IV, 46.4%). In this study, 17.6% received chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life and 27.0% received chemotherapy in the last 30 days of life. No significant associations between age, sex, residence (rural vs urban) and receipt of chemotherapy in the last 14 or 30 days of life were found. A significant association was found between type of insurance and chemotherapy in the last 14 or 30 days of life: Medicare was associated with chemotherapy in both last 14 days of life 2(1) = 4.448, p = .035 and last 30 days of life 2(1) = 4.773, p = .029. A binomial logistic regression using demographic factors, including insurance, was not significant.
Conclusion: Our results indicate a need for improvement in the number of individuals who receive chemotherapy in the final month of life.
PURPOSE: ASCO recommends early integration of palliative care in treating patients diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Our study sought to examine utilization of timely specialty palliative care (SPC) and its association with survival and cost outcomes in patients diagnosed with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS: The 2001-2015 SEER-Medicare data were used to determine the baseline characteristics and outcomes of 79,253 patients with metastatic NSCLC. The predictors of early SPC use were examined using logistic regression. Mean and adjusted total and SPC-related costs were calculated using generalized linear regression. We used Cox regression model to determine the survival outcomes by SPC service settings. All statistical tests were two sided.
RESULTS: The time from cancer diagnosis to the first SPC use has reduced significantly, from 13.7 weeks in 2001 to 8.3 weeks in 2015 (P < .001). SPC use was associated with lower health care costs compared with those who had no SPC, from -$3,180 in 2011 (P < .001) to -$1,285 in 2015 (P = .059). Outpatient SPC use was associated with improved survival compared with patients who received SPC in other settings (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.79 to 0.88; P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Patients diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC now have more timely SPC service utilization, which was demonstrated to be a cost-saving treatment. Strategies to improve outpatient palliative care use might be associated with longer survival in patients with metastatic NSCLC.
OBJECTIVES: To (a) compare palliative care needs of lung cancer patients on their final admission to community-based and inpatient palliative care services; and (b) explore whether and how these care needs affect their utilisation of different palliative care services in the last days of life.
METHODS: Descriptive study involving 17,816 lung cancer patients who received the last episode of palliative care from specialist services and died between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2018.
RESULTS: Both groups of patients admitted to community-based and inpatient palliative care services generally experienced relatively low levels of symptom distress, but high levels of functional impairment and dependency. "Unstable" versus "stable" palliative care phase (Odds ratio = 11.66; 95% Confidence Interval: 9.55-14.24), poorer functional outcomes and severe levels of distress from many symptoms predicted greater likelihood of use of inpatient versus community-based palliative care.
CONCLUSIONS: Most inpatient palliative care admissions are not associated with high levels of symptom severity. To extend the period of home care and rate of home death for people with lung cancer, additional investment is required to improve their access to sufficiently skilled palliative care staff, multi-disciplinary teams and 24-hour home support in community settings.
Background: Early referral of cancer patients for palliative care significantly improves the quality of life. It is not clear which patients can benefit from an early referral, and when the referral should occur. A Delphi Panel study proposed 11 major criteria for an outpatient palliative care referral.
Objective: To operationalize major Delphi criteria in a cohort of lung cancer patients, using a prospective approach, by linking health administrative data.
Design: Population-based observational cohort study.
Setting/Subjects: The study population comprised 38,851 cases of lung cancer in the Ontario Cancer Registry, diagnosed from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016.
Measurements: We operationalized 6 of the 11 major criteria (4 diagnosis or prognosis based and 2 symptom based). Patients were considered eligible (index event) for palliative care if they qualified for any criterion. Among eligible patients, we identified those who received palliative care.
Results: Twenty-eight thousand one hundred sixty-four patients were eligible for palliative care by qualifying for either the diagnosis- or prognosis-based criteria (n = 21,036, 76.5%), or for symptom-based criteria (n = 7128, 23.5%). A total of 23,199 (82.4%) patients received palliative care. The median time from palliative care eligibility to the receipt of first palliative care or death or maximum study follow-up was 56 days (range = 17–348).
Conclusions: We operationalized six major criteria that identified the majority of lung cancer patients who were eligible for palliative care. Most eligible patients received the palliative care before death. Future research is warranted to test these criteria in other cancer populations.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer and leading cause of cancer mortality globally. Lung cancer is associated with significant morbidity, with symptoms often being poorly managed, causing significant symptom burden for both patients and their family caregivers. In people with life-limiting illnesses including advanced cancer, palliative care has been effective in improving symptom control, physical and mental wellbeing, quality of life, and survivorship; with benefits extending to caregivers while in the role and subsequently. Earlier integration of palliative care within oncology may be associated with improved patient outcomes, and has been supported by two Lancet commissions and national guidelines. The evidence for its effectiveness, however, has been mixed across the cancer spectrum. The aim of this review was to evaluate the current evidence for the effectiveness of early integrated palliative care in improving outcomes for people with lung cancer and their caregivers. Meta-analyses were performed where studies used the same measure. Otherwise, synthesis used a narrative approach. Similar to other types of advanced cancer, this review reveals mixed evidence for the effectiveness of early referral to palliative care and for the effectiveness of individual palliative interventions for people with lung cancer and their caregivers. Evidence that on-demand palliative care is equally, if not more effective than palliative care that is routinely provided, raises the question whether initiation and provision of palliative care as part of multidisciplinary lung cancer care ought to be guided by an early referral or need-based referral. Better understanding of what constitutes palliative care when delivered to people with lung cancer and their caregivers will help delineate the correlation with reported outcomes for these populations.
Schizophrenia is marked by inequities in cancer treatment and associated with high smoking rates. Lung cancer patients with schizophrenia may thus be at risk of receiving poorer end-of-life care compared to those without mental disorder. The objective was to compare end-of-life care delivered to patients with schizophrenia and lung cancer with patients without severe mental disorder. This population-based cohort study included all patients aged 15 and older who died from their terminal lung cancer in hospital in France (2014–2016). Schizophrenia patients and controls without severe mental disorder were selected and indicators of palliative care and high-intensity end-of-life care were compared. Multivariable generalized log-linear models were performed, adjusted for sex, age, year of death, social deprivation, time between cancer diagnosis and death, metastases, comorbidity, smoking addiction and hospital category. The analysis included 633 schizophrenia patients and 66,469 controls. The schizophrenia patients died 6 years earlier, had almost twice more frequently smoking addiction (38.1%), had more frequently chronic pulmonary disease (32.5%) and a shorter duration from cancer diagnosis to death. In multivariate analysis, they were found to have more and earlier palliative care (adjusted Odds Ratio 1.27 [1.03;1.56]; p = 0.04), and less high-intensity end-of-life care (e.g., chemotherapy 0.53 [0.41;0.70]; p < 0.0001; surgery 0.73 [0.59;0.90]; p < 0.01) than controls. Although the use and/or continuation of high-intensity end-of-life care is less important in schizophrenia patients with lung cancer, some findings suggest a loss of chance. Future studies should explore the expectations of patients with schizophrenia and lung cancer to define the optimal end-of-life care.
Aims of the study: Blood coagulation parameters are colossally important for clinical evaluation of palliative chemotherapy; however, this niche was not explored earlier for advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study focuses to explore the clinical relevancy of Coagulation parameters; prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), fibrinogen (FIB), D-dimer and international normalised ratio (INR) and their response to palliative chemotherapy in advanced-stage NSCLC.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted between 2013 and 2019 in Jiangsu Cancer hospital, Nanjing, PR. China. Medical records of 5445 patients were succinctly reviewed and classified accordingly to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 216 advanced NSCLC patients who used a first-line chemotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy regimen were enrolled in this study under ethical approval (JSCH-2020C-009). Blood samples were collected from these patients to measure the response levels of these coagulation parameters at time of admission to hospital and at the beginning of 4 cycles of Palliative therapy. We find the clinical value of all these coagulation parameters by using SPSS 24. Univariate Cox regression and Multivariate Cox regression models were used to identify the factors that were associated with progression-free survival (PFS) and the response to palliative chemotherapy.
Results: In the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for overall median (95% CI) survival of high pre-treatment coagulation parameters showed shorter PFS compared with normal pre-treatment except TT and their overall median (95% CI) follow-up was 3.3 (3.12-3.47). Coagulation parameters have showed clinical relevance as a potential independent prognostic factor of PFS in the Univariate Cox regression. In multivariable model, Age (=60 years vs < 60 years), cancer differentiation (Unknown vs Poor), PT (High vs Normal) range, FIB (High vs Normal) range and D-dimer (High vs Normal) range, (P = .025, P = .045, P = .029, P = .049 and P = .011, respectively) were associated as a prognostic factor of PFS in NSCLC. Patients on 3-drugs regimen found to have better PFS compared with the ones taking the 2-drugs treatment regimen (P = .043).
Conclusion: The high range of PT, FIB and D-dimers was associated with poor prognosis of advanced-stage NSCLC. Our findings also confirmed that patients on 3-drugs regimen showed longer PFS compared with 2-drugs regimen.
Lung cancer is one of the main causes of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Over the years, different therapeutic modalities have been adopted depending on tumor stage and patient characteristics, such as surgery, radiotherapy (RT), and chemotherapy. Recently, with the development of immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), the treatment of metastatic and locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has experienced a revolution that has resulted in a significant improvement in overall survival with an enhanced toxicity profile. Despite this paradigm shift, most patients present some kind of resistance to ICI. In this setting, current research is shifting towards the integration of multiple therapies, with RT and ICI being one of the most promising based on the potential immunostimulatory synergy of this combination. This review gives an overview of the evolution and current state of the combination of RT and ICI and provides evidence-based data that can improve patient selection. The combination in lung cancer is a safe therapeutic approach that improves local control and progression-free survival, and it has the potential to unleash abscopal responses. Additionally, this treatment strategy seems to be able to re-sensitize select patients that have reached a state of resistance to ICI, further enabling the continuation of systemic therapy.
BACKGROUND: Results of previous studies demonstrated that high-intensity end-of-life (EOL) care improves neither cancer patients' survival nor quality of life. Our objective was to assess the incidence of and factors associated with aggressiveness of care during the last 30 days of life (DOL) of lung cancer (LC) patients and the impacts of aggressiveness of care in EOL-care costs.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using French national hospital database, all patients with LC who died between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2011, or between January 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016, were included. EOL-care aggressiveness was assessed using the following criteria: chemotherapy administered within the last 14 DOL; more than one hospitalization within the last 30 DOL; admission to the intensive care unit within the last 30 DOL; and palliative care initiated < 3 days before death. Expenditures were limited to direct costs, from a health care payer's perspective.
RESULTS: Among 79,746 adult LC patients identified; 57% had at least one indicator of EOL-care aggressiveness (49% repeated hospitalizations, 12% intensive care unit admissions, 9% chemotherapy, 5% palliative care). It increased significantly between the 2 periods (56% vs. 58%, P < .001). Young age, male sex, shorter time since diagnosis, comorbidities, no malnutrition, type of care facility other than general hospital, social deprivation, and low-density population were independently associated with having one or more indicator of aggressive EOL care. The mean EOL cost was €8152 ± 5117 per patient, but the cost was significantly higher for patients with at least one EOL-care aggressiveness criterion (€9480 vs. €6376, P < .001).
CONCLUSION: In France, a majority of LC patients had at least one criterion of aggressive EOL care that had a major economic impact on the health care system.
Aims: choosing the optimal palliative lung radiotherapy regimen is challenging. Guidance from The Royal College of Radiologists recommends treatment stratification based on performance status, but evidence suggests that higher radiotherapy doss may be associated with survival benefits. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of fractionation regimen and additional factors on the survival of palliative lung cancer radiotherapy patients.
Materials and methods: A retrospective univariable (n = 925) and multivariable (n = 422) survival analysis of the prognostic significance of baseline patient characteristics and treatment prescription was carried out on patients with non-small cell and small cell lung cancer treated with palliative lung radiotherapy. The covariates investigated included: gender, age, performance status, histology, comorbidities, stage, tumour location, tumour side, smoking status, pack year history, primary radiotherapy technique and fractionation scheme. The overall mortality rate at 30 and 90 days of treatment was calculated.
Results: univariable analysis revealed that performance status (P < 0.001), fractionation scheme (P < 0.001), comorbidities (P = 0.02), small cell histology (P = 0.02), ‘lifelong never’ smoking status (P = 0.01) and gender (P = 0.06) were associated with survival. Upon multivariable analysis, only better performance status (P = 0.01) and increased dose/fractionation regimens of up to 30 Gy/10 fractions (P < 0.001) were associated with increased survival. Eighty-five (9.2%) and 316 patients (34%) died within 30 and 90 days of treatment, respectively.
Conclusion: In this retrospective single-centre analysis of palliative lung radiotherapy, increased total dose (up to and including 30 Gy/10 fractions) was associated with better survival regardless of performance status.