Timely Palliative Care After Lung Cancer Diagnosis May Up Survival

MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced lung cancer, palliative care is associated with increased survival when it is received 31 to 365 days after cancer diagnosis, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in JAMA Oncology.

Donald R. Sullivan, M.D., from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving patients with lung cancer who were diagnosed between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2013. Data were included for 23,154 patients with advanced lung cancer (stage IIIB and IV).

The researchers found that 57 percent of the patients received palliative care. Compared with nonreceipt of palliative care, palliative care received 0 to 30 days after diagnosis correlated with reduced survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.13; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.97 to 2.30). Palliative care received 31 to 365 days after diagnosis correlated with increased survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.47; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.45 to 0.49). There was no difference in survival with palliative care received more than 365 days after diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.00; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.94 to 1.07). Compared with nonreceipt of palliative care, receipt of care correlated with a reduced risk for death in an acute care setting (adjusted odds ratio, 0.57; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.64).

"The results of this study appear to support the timely use of palliative care among patients with advanced lung cancer," the authors write.

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