Palliative chemotherapy: Historical perspective, applications, and controversies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite advances in cancer detection and treatment, cancer continues to be a major public health burden in the United States, and patients with advanced or refractory cancers carry much of this burden. The primary goal of cancer treatment is cure. However, most patients with advanced, metastatic, or recurrent disease do not benefit from this intent. Recent research studies have documented the role of chemotherapy in providing symptom control, preventing complications, prolonging life, and improving quality of life (QOL) in patients with incurable cancers. Although chemotherapy under these conditions is palliative, patients receiving chemotherapy or participating in research trials are excluded from receiving much needed palliative services, such as Hospice, based on current definitions, limitations, and models of palliative care. Application of palliative services on a continuum from the time of diagnosis through the end of life (EOL) has been recognized as beneficial in the treatment of patients with terminal diseases and has been addressed through trials assessing mixed management models, providing palliative and therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in oncology
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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