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J Clin Oncol. 2015 May 1;33(13):1438-45. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.58.6362. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

Early Versus Delayed Initiation of Concurrent Palliative Oncology Care: Patient Outcomes in the ENABLE III Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Marie A. Bakitas, J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, and Andres Azuero, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Marie A. Bakitas, Jennifer Frost, and Konstantin H. Dragnev, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Zhongze Li, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon; Tor D. Tosteson, Kathleen D. Lyons, and Mark T. Hegel, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; Zhigang Li and Jay G. Hull, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; and Tim A. Ahles, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. mbakitas@uab.edu.
2
Marie A. Bakitas, J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, and Andres Azuero, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Marie A. Bakitas, Jennifer Frost, and Konstantin H. Dragnev, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Zhongze Li, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon; Tor D. Tosteson, Kathleen D. Lyons, and Mark T. Hegel, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; Zhigang Li and Jay G. Hull, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; and Tim A. Ahles, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Randomized controlled trials have supported integrated oncology and palliative care (PC); however, optimal timing has not been evaluated. We investigated the effect of early versus delayed PC on quality of life (QOL), symptom impact, mood, 1-year survival, and resource use.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Between October 2010 and March 2013, 207 patients with advanced cancer at a National Cancer Institute cancer center, a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and community outreach clinics were randomly assigned to receive an in-person PC consultation, structured PC telehealth nurse coaching sessions (once per week for six sessions), and monthly follow-up either early after enrollment or 3 months later. Outcomes were QOL, symptom impact, mood, 1-year survival, and resource use (hospital/intensive care unit days, emergency room visits, chemotherapy in last 14 days, and death location).

RESULTS:

Overall patient-reported outcomes were not statistically significant after enrollment (QOL, P = .34; symptom impact, P = .09; mood, P = .33) or before death (QOL, P = .73; symptom impact, P = .30; mood, P = .82). Kaplan-Meier 1-year survival rates were 63% in the early group and 48% in the delayed group (difference, 15%; P = .038). Relative rates of early to delayed decedents' resource use were similar for hospital days (0.73; 95% CI, 0.41 to 1.27; P = .26), intensive care unit days (0.68; 95% CI, 0.23 to 2.02; P = .49), emergency room visits (0.73; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.19; P = .21), chemotherapy in last 14 days (1.57; 95% CI, 0.37 to 6.7; P = .27), and home death (27 [54%] v 28 [47%]; P = .60).

CONCLUSION:

Early-entry participants' patient-reported outcomes and resource use were not statistically different; however, their survival 1-year after enrollment was improved compared with those who began 3 months later. Understanding the complex mechanisms whereby PC may improve survival remains an important research priority.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01245621.

PMID:
25800768
PMCID:
PMC4404422
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2014.58.6362
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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