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Support Care Cancer. 2015 Apr;23(4):1073-80. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2460-4. Epub 2014 Oct 4.

The oncology palliative care clinic at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre: an early intervention model for patients with advanced cancer.

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Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Several recently published randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the benefits of early palliative care involvement for patients with advanced cancer. In the oncology outpatient setting, palliative care clinics are an ideal site for the provision of early, collaborative support, which can be maintained throughout the cancer trajectory. Despite this, access to ambulatory palliative care clinics is limited, even at tertiary cancer centres. Existing programs for outpatient palliative care are variable in scope and are not well described in the literature. We describe the development and expansion of an outpatient palliative care clinic at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada, demonstrating how the clinic functions at a local and regional level. This clinic served as the intervention for a recent large cluster-randomized trial of early palliative care. The model for this service can be adapted by other palliative care programs that aim to provide early, integrated oncology care.

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