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J Oncol Pract. 2017 Oct;13(10):e821-e830. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2016.020404. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Patterns of Resuscitation Care and Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Patients With Advanced Cancer.

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University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, NH; St Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute; University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO; Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis, MN; University of Michigan Health System; Michigan Integrated Center for Health Analytics and Medical Prediction; and Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management and Research, Ann Arbor, MI.



Little is known regarding patterns of resuscitation care in patients with advanced cancer who suffer in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA).


In the Get With The Guidelines - Resuscitation registry, 47,157 adults with IHCA with and without advanced cancer (defined as the presence of metastatic or hematologic malignancy) were identified at 369 hospitals from April 2006 through June 2010. We compared rates of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to discharge between groups using multivariable models. We also compared duration of resuscitation effort and resuscitation quality measures.


Overall, 6,585 patients with IHCA (14.0%) had advanced cancer. Patients with advanced cancer had lower multivariable-adjusted rates of ROSC (52.3% [95% CI, 49.5% to 55.3%] v 56.6% [95% CI, 53.8% to 59.5%]; P < .001) and survival to discharge (7.4% [95% CI, 6.6% to 8.4%] v 13.4% [95% CI, 12.1% to 14.8%]; P < .001). Among nonsurvivors who died during resuscitation, patients with advanced cancer had better performance on most resuscitation quality measures. Among patients with ROSC, patients with advanced cancer were made Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) more frequently within 48 hours (adjusted relative risk, 1.30 [95% CI, 1.24 to 1.37]; P < .001). Adjustment for DNAR status explained some of the immediate effect of advanced cancer on survival; however, survival remained significantly lower in patients with cancer.


Patients with advanced cancer can expect lower survival rates after IHCA compared with those without advanced cancer, and they are more frequently made DNAR within 48 hours of ROSC. These findings have important implications for discussions of resuscitation care wishes with patients and can better inform end-of-life discussions.

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