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BMC Palliat Care. 2018 Aug 7;17(1):99. doi: 10.1186/s12904-018-0348-7.

Trends in treatment during the last stages of life in end-stage gynecologic cancer patients who received active palliative chemotherapy: a comparative analysis of 10-year data in a single institution.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Asan Medical center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05505, South Korea.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Asan Medical center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05505, South Korea. kdyog@amc.seoul.kr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Palliative chemotherapy should be used with caution when attempting to alleviate symptoms in patients with end-stage cancer. However, palliative chemotherapy continues to be utilized in cancer patients during their last stages of life. In this study, we analyzed the pattern of chemotherapy administered during the last 6 months of life in patients with end-stage gynecologic cancer who were treated with active palliative chemotherapy for the past 10 years.

METHOD:

We retrospectively analyzed the data for patients with gynecologic cancer who died after undergoing active palliative chemotherapy without receiving hospice management at Asan Medical Center from 2006 to 2015. Patients were divided into two groups: those who died between 2006 and 2010, and those who died between 2011 and 2015. Based on the electronic medical records, the demographic and baseline characteristics of the patients, hospital admission during the last 6 months, invasive procedures, palliative chemotherapy patterns, and the time of the last chemotherapy session were confirmed.

RESULTS:

A total of 193 patients with gynecologic cancer were eligible for this study. 92 patients died during 2006 to 2010, and 101 patients died during 2011 to 2015. The mean frequency of admission during the last 6 months was 5.12 for those who died in 2006-2010 and 6.06 for those who died during 2011-2015 (p = 0.003); similarly, the mean frequency of palliative chemotherapy during the last 6 months was 3.84 (2006-2010) vs. 4.93 times (2011-2015; p < 0.001). The proportion of patients undergoing invasive procedures during the last 3 months was 41.3% (2005-2010) vs. 56.4% (2011-2015; p = 0.044).

CONCLUSIONS:

The frequency of palliative chemotherapy and the rate of invasive procedures have increased in patients with end-stage gynecologic cancer who were treated aggressively without hospice management over 2011-2015 when compared to 2006-2010, along with an increase in the mean frequency of admission during the last 6 months at our institution. Gynecologic oncologists need to evaluate whether active palliative chemotherapy is beneficial to patients at the end-of-life stage, and if not helpful, should communicate with the patients and caregivers about when the palliative chemotherapy should be discontinued.

KEYWORDS:

Active palliative chemotherapy; Gynecologic cancer; The last stage of life; Trend

PMID:
30086748
PMCID:
PMC6081917
DOI:
10.1186/s12904-018-0348-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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