Radiation therapy use low in end-stage cancer

January 13, 2013
Radiation therapy use low in end-stage cancer
Although the overall use of radiation treatment among elderly end-stage cancer patients is low during their final month of life, many receive more than 10 days of treatment, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—Although the overall use of radiation treatment among elderly end-stage cancer patients is low during their final month of life, many receive more than 10 days of treatment, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

B. Ashleigh Guadagnolo, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues analyzed data on in the last month of life from 202,299 elderly patients (65 years and older) who had died from various cancers from 2000 to 2007.

The researchers found that 7.6 percent of patients had received radiation therapy in their last month of life, and its use was influenced by factors including race, gender, income, and hospice care. Of patients who received radiation therapy, 17.8 percent had received more than 10 days of treatment, which was more likely for non-Hispanic whites, those not receiving hospice care, and those treated in a freestanding rather than a hospital-associated facility. Among those receiving radiation therapy in the last month of life, the total costs of care in the last month of life was 32 percent lower among those who received .

"It is possible, on the basis of overall low percentage of patients who received radiotherapy in the last 30 days of life, that there is underuse of this modality in end-stage ," Guadagnolo and colleagues conclude. "However, dosing regimens that require dying patients to spend a significant proportion of their final days visiting a suite likely counters the overall aim of palliative care."

One author received funding from Helsinn.

Explore further: Many mistakenly think radiation might cure terminal lung cancer

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Many mistakenly think radiation might cure terminal lung cancer

October 29, 2012
(HealthDay)—Many people with incurable lung cancer mistakenly believe that radiation therapy meant to ease their pain and other symptoms may cure their disease, researchers report.

Stage I NSCLC patients who receive radiation therapy are surviving longer

September 6, 2012
Stage I, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who received radiation therapy have an increased median survival of 21 months compared to 16 months, and the percentage of patients who receive no treatment declined from ...

Radiation treatment after surgery improves survival for elderly women with early-stage breast cancer

October 30, 2012
Elderly women with early-stage breast cancer live longer with radiation therapy and surgery compared with surgery alone, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found. The researchers, who collected ...

Ill, older patients who rely on emergency room often live final days in hospital, study finds

June 4, 2012
Half of adults over age 65 made at least one emergency department (ED) visit in the last month of life, in a study led by a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and UCSF.

Recommended for you

Researchers release first draft of a genome-wide cancer 'dependency map'

July 27, 2017
In one of the largest efforts to build a comprehensive catalog of genetic vulnerabilities in cancer, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified more than 760 genes ...

Cancer-death button gets jammed by gut bacterium

July 27, 2017
Researchers at Michigan Medicine and in China showed that a type of bacterium is associated with the recurrence of colorectal cancer and poor outcomes. They found that Fusobacterium nucleatum in the gut can stop chemotherapy ...

Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer

July 27, 2017
Cells, just like people, have memories. They retain molecular markers that at the beginning of their existence helped guide their development. Cells that become cancerous may be making use of these early memories to power ...

Blocking the back-door that cancer cells use to escape death by radiotherapy

July 27, 2017
A natural healing mechanism of the body may be reducing the efficiency of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients, according to a new study.

Glowing tumor technology helps surgeons remove hidden cancer cells

July 27, 2017
Surgeons were able to identify and remove a greater number of cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients when combining intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) - through the use of a contrast agent that makes tumor cells ...

Manmade peptides reduce breast cancer's spread

July 27, 2017
Manmade peptides that directly disrupt the inner workings of a gene known to support cancer's spread significantly reduce metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists say.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.