A Retrospective, Single-Center Analysis of Specialized Palliative Care Services for Patients with Advanced Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Timely integration of specialized palliative care (SPC) has been shown to improve cancer patients’ quality of life (QoL) and reduced the use of medical services. To evaluate the level of integration of SPC services for patients with advanced small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), we retrospectively analyzed medical records of patients from 2019 to 2021. Regarding the timing of referral to SPC services, we defined four cutoffs for early referral according to the current literature: (a) SPC provided ≤ 60 days after diagnosis; (b) SPC provided ≥ 60 days before death; (c) SPC provided ≥ 30 days before death; and (d) SPC provided ≥ 130 days before death. One hundred and forty-three patients (94.1%) were found to have locally advanced (stage III) or metastatic (stage IV) disease. Sixty-eight were not referred to SPC services (47.6%), whereas 75 patients received SPC (52.4%). We found a significantly higher number of referrals to SPC services for patients with higher ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) (i.e., ECOG ≥ 2) (p = 0.010) and patients with stage IV disease (p ≤ 0.001). The median overall survival (OS) for SCLC stage III/IV patients (n = 143) who did not receive SPC treatment was 17 months (95% CI 8.5–25.5), while those who did receive SPC treatment had a median OS of 8 months (95% CI 6.2–9.8) (p = 0.014). However, when we evaluated patients receiving SPC treatment in a timely manner before death as suggested by the different cutoffs indicated in the literature, they lived significantly longer when referred at a minimum of ≥60 or ≥130 days before death. Based on our findings, we suggest that patients with advanced SCLC should participate in a consultation with a SPC team in a timely manner to ensure a benefit of SPC for this patient group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4988
Pages (from-to)4988
JournalCancers
Volume14
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • advanced lung cancer
  • palliative care
  • small-cell lung cancer
  • specialized palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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