Palliative Care: Improves Quality of Life, Prolongs Survival

2010 August 25

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that among 151 patients with newly diagnosed metastatic lung cancer, those who received palliative care along with standard cancer therapy had better outcomes. They:

  • Had a better quality of life
  • Experienced less depression
  • Were less likely to receive aggressive end-of-life care
  • Lived nearly three months longer than those who received cancer treatment alone

Download the PDF report here…

One Response
  1. Dr Ollie Minton permalink
    August 27, 2010

    Evidence based palliative care

    I came across a review of evidence – based palliative care a few years ago, which claimed the vast majority of interventions to be based on high quality Randomised Controlled Trials’ (RCT) data.

    That seemed ludicrously unbelievable to me then, and it seems so now. Most palliative interventions seem based on theoretical ideas about receptors and interactions, or on common sense.

    It’s delightful to see this study, which randomises 151 patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer to routine oncology care or the same combined with early palliative care. Not only did the latter group enjoy a better quality of life, but despite receiving fewer aggressive medical interventions, they actually lived longer as well.

    A triumphant finding, and one to cast a long shadow over trials of side effect ridden last-ditch cancer drugs like ipilimumab for metastatic melanoma.

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