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Can Early Palliative Care With Anticancer Treatment Improve Overall Survival And Patient-related Outcomes In Advanced Lung Cancer Patients? A Review Of The Literature

M. Ambroggi, C. Biasini, Ilaria Toscani, E. Orlandi, R. Bertè, Martina Mazzari, L. Cavanna
Published 2018 · Medicine

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PurposeMetastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the leading cause of death from cancer worldwide, is a debilitating disease that results in a high burden of symptoms and poor quality of life; the estimated prognosis after the diagnosis has been established was less than 1 year until some years ago. At the present, the new targeted therapies and immunotherapy are changing the course of the disease. However, advanced NSCLC remains an incurable disease, with a poor prognosis for the majority of the affected patients, so that quality of life and relief from symptoms are primary objectives of treatment. Some evidences suggest that early palliative care (EPC) for these patients can improve quality of life and even survival.DesignA systematic review of the studies evaluating the impact on objective and on patient-reported outcomes of the introduction of EPC in opposition to standard care (SC), for advanced lung cancer patients, was performed. Because of the small number of studies conducted in this area, retrospective studies were also considered for the review.ResultsFive studies were included because they matched the inclusion criteria previously defined as relevant for the study. The review found that both survival and quality of life were better for patients included in EPC groups.ConclusionsWhile results of the studies included in this review are not always comparable because different methods and scales have been used, there is enough evidence for clinical oncologists to implement the use of EPC in clinical practice for advanced lung cancer patients.
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