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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 2385–2389

First Online: 24 December 2011Received: 25 May 2011Accepted: 05 December 2011


IntroductionAnticancer therapies gain increasing attention and discussion in specialized palliative care institutions. Frequency, indication, attitude of team members, and modes of these therapies implemented in specialized palliative care settings are still under investigation.

MethodsDescriptive analysis of the nationwide Hospice and Palliative Care Evaluation 2007 that collected data from palliative medicine, hospice care, and oncology institutions concerning the use of anticancer therapies.

ResultsThree thousand one hundred eighty-four patients from 67 palliative care units, eight oncology wards, and other in- and outpatient institutions were registered. Two hundred eleven therapeutic interventions, mostly i.v. chemotherapy 28.9%, have been documented in all institutions except from inpatient hospices. Although all institutions were asked to keep records from -palliative patients-, those patients treated in oncology services differed from patients on palliative care units with respect to prognosis, therapeutic intention symptom control versus tumor remission, and team attitude.

DiscussionAnticancer therapies are incorporated into palliative care concepts. The described differences in palliative patients that are treated in specialized palliative care as compared to oncology services will have to be discussed with regard to selection of patients for specialized palliative care and the range of suitable treatment modalities in palliative care concepts.

KeywordsAnticancer therapy Palliative patient Symptom control Early integration  Download fulltext PDF

Author: B. Alt-Epping - S. Pache - G. Lindena - F. Nauck - On behalf of the German Hospice and Palliative Care Evaluation HOPE Working


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