Navigation Links
Terminal cancer patients do not receive appropriate radiation therapy
Date:4/11/2010

A new analysis has found that a considerable proportion of patients with end-stage or terminal cancer do not benefit from palliative radiation therapy (radiotherapy) despite spending most of their remaining life undergoing treatments. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that greater efforts are needed to tailor appropriately palliative radiotherapy to patients with end-stage cancer.

Palliative radiotherapy for end-stage cancer patients is intended to control cancer-related pain and other symptoms and to help patients maintain a good quality of life when long-term cancer control is not possible. By reducing the number of cancer cells, palliative radiotherapy can ease pain, stop bleeding, and relieve pressure, even when the cancer cannot be controlled. However, for many patients, the treatments are not effective. In addition, if patients are close to death, they may wish to stop treatments if they would like to die at home.

To investigate the adequacy of palliative radiotherapy in end-stage cancer patients, Stephan Gripp, MD, of the University Hospital Duesseldorf in Germany and colleagues evaluated the treatment of patients who were referred for palliative radiotherapy at their hospital from December 2003 to July 2004 and who died within 30 days. The investigators identified 33 such patients.

Radiotherapy was delivered to 91 percent of patients. Half of the patients spent more than 60 percent of their remaining lifespan on radiotherapy, and in only 58 percent of patients was radiotherapy completed. Many physicians overestimated the length of time their patients would survive. Among this group who died within one month, about one in five physicians predicted more than six months survival. In addition, progressive complaints were noted in 52 percent of patients, and palliation or pain reduction was reported by only 26 percent of patients.

The authors concluded that radiotherapy was not appropriately customized to these cancer patients, many of whom did not benefit despite spending most of their remaining life on therapy. Excessive radiotherapy in end-stage cancer patients may reflect overoptimistic prognoses and unrealistic concerns about radiation damage.

"Radiation oncologists have fallen short in accurately determining the life span of terminally ill cancer patients. This has resulted in unduly prolonged radiation therapy regimens that often go uncompleted due to death or withdrawal from treatment," said Dr. Gripp. He added that physicians need better methods for estimating how long their end-stage cancer patients will live. He also recommended that they use shorter-duration radiation schedules for palliative radiotherapy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Claire Greenwell
claire.greenwell@cancer.org
404-417-5883
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Doctors Put Off End-of-Life Talks With Terminally Ill
2. Flu Shots Now Offered in Los Angeles International Airport Terminals
3. Salon Leau to Host Cuts for a Cause to Raise Funds and Spread the Word About Childhood Terminal Illnesses
4. Singapore Offers New Hope to Cancer Patients
5. SWOG cancer trials network awarded over $120 million in NCI grants
6. Hepatitis C Tied to Higher Kidney Cancer Risk
7. Research Reveals Cancer Drug Effectiveness Substantially Advanced
8. Progress Made Against Tough-to-Treat Biliary Tract Cancers
9. "An Evening of Hope” - The Official Pre-Event for This Year's American Cancer Society Starry Night Gala
10. Researchers discover new approach for identifying smokers at highest risk for developing lung cancer
11. Urine test for kidney cancer a step closer to development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... With a heatwave currently bearing down on Northern California pushing temperatures to ... Being swimsuit ready is easy with laser hair removal. , The process of summer ... burdensome routine when all you want to do is get out, dive in and cool ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... The ... the Sheraton Erie Bayfront and Erie Convention Center on June 8-10. The ... a student quiz bowl, award and scholarship presentations, and professional networking. , ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Doorknobs are for convenience, deadbolts ... as getting a guard dog or having an alarm system installed. But unless there ... forced entry. Yair Frenkel, owner of TX Premier Locksmith in Killeen, TX says: “In ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... By scoring 100% for fiscal ... four-star rating from premier online charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, validating ANRF's work as a ... all charities reviewed by Charity Navigator and earns ANRF a spot on their “ ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Military Officers Association of ... deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, retired Marine Col. Thomas G. Bowman. , Bowman currently ... , Bowman brings an intimacy with the issues and challenges veterans face with the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), a ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has notified the Company that ... Zhejiang, China manufacturing facility has been ... clearance of the Warning Letter related to our ... of the progress we have made in our ongoing quality ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... Burchfield, DPM, is recognized by Continental Who,s Who as a Pinnacle ... Alabama . Dr. Burchfield serves as a ... 20 years of experience, as well as expertise in the areas ... "The podiatry professional   ... welcome you to his practice," the company,s website states. "We want ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... -- Less than a month ago, amateur hackers executed an ... hospital networks, in over 150 countries. The ... online extortion attempts ever recorded. With the increasing complexity ... that providers understand where the risks lie, and how ... many other very real cyber threats.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: