Impact of early palliative care on additional line of chemotherapy in metastatic

Impact of early palliative care on additional line of chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients: results from the randomized study OSS

Chvetzoff G, Bouleuc C, Lardy-Cléaud A, Saltel P, Dieras V, Morelle M, Guastalla JP, Tredan O, Rebattu P, Pop S, Ray-Coquard I, Pierga JY, Mignot L, Laurence V, Bourne-Branchu V, Pérol D, Bachelot T.

Support Care Cancer. 2022 Dec 27.


Purpose: The most appropriate criteria and timing for palliative care referral remain a critical issue, especially in patients with metastatic breast cancer for whom long-term chemosensibility and survival are observed. We aimed to compare the impact of early palliative care including formal concertation with oncologists on decision for an additional line of chemotherapy compared with usual oncology care.

Methods: This randomized prospective study enrolled adult women with metastatic breast cancer and visceral metastases with a 3rd- or 4th-line chemotherapy (CT). Patients received usual oncology care with a palliative care consultation only upon patient or oncologist request (standard group, S) or were referred to systematic palliative care consultation including a regular concertation between palliative care team and oncologists (early palliative care group, EPC). The primary endpoint was the rate of an additional CT (4th or 5th line) decision. Quality of life, symptoms, social support and satisfaction were self-evaluated at 6 and 12 months, at treatment discontinuation or 3 months after discontinuation.

Results: From January 2009 to November 2012, two authorized cancer centers included 98 women (EPC: 50; S: 48). Thirty-seven (77.1%, 95%CI 62.7-88%) patients in the EPC group had a subsequent chemotherapy prescribed and 36 (72.0%, 95%CI 57.5-83.8%) in the S group (p = 0.646). No differences in symptom control and global quality of life were observed, but less deterioration in physical functioning was reported in EPC (EPC: 0 [- 53-40]; S: - 6; 7 [- 60 to - 20]; p = 0.027). Information exchange and communication were significant improved in EPC (exchange, EPC: - 8.3 [- 30 to + 7]; S: 0.0 [- 17 to + 23]; p = 0.024; communication, EPC: 12.5 [- 8 to - 37]; S: 0.0 [- 21 to + 17]; p = 0.004).

Conclusion: EPC in metastatic breast cancer patients did not impact the prescription rate of additional chemotherapy in patients a 3rd- or 4th-line chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer; however, EPC may contribute to alleviate deterioration in physical functioning, while facilitating communication.

Trial registration: identifier: NCT00905281, May 20, 2009.
Keywords: Advanced breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Early palliative care; Supportive care.

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-022-07561-x  PMID: 36574052

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