Survey of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers on the Utilization of Palliative Care in Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Anjali Goyal, Amir Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recognized as one of the deadliest cancers, pancreatic cancer underscores an urgent need for palliative care. We surveyed palliative care directors at all 65 National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer centers to assess the utilization and timing of palliative care involvement in pancreatic cancer patients. 1) Does your palliative care team have a policy to get involved with every pancreatic cancer patient? a. Yes b. No 2) When palliative care is involved with pancreatic cancer patients, in what setting are you typically/primarily first asked to be involved? a. Early in the patient’s treatment journey (focusing on symptom management) b. Later in the patient’s treatment journey (focusing on end-of-life discussions and explaining hospice) All 65 NCI-designated centers responded, achieving 100% of the targeted sample. Among these centers, 64 lacked a policy for palliative care involvement with every pancreatic cancer patient. Additionally, 38 centers initiated intervention early, focusing on symptom management, while 15 centers started palliative care late in the treatment journey, emphasizing end-of-life discussions. Furthermore, 12 centers initiated intervention both early and late when treating pancreatic cancer. There is an increasing recognition among medical centers of palliative care’s necessity for pancreatic cancer, with a rising trend toward early integration. Variation in the timing and emphasis of palliative care involvement remains. Future research should explore barriers to accessing palliative care and compare outcomes of early versus late intervention. By addressing these areas, healthcare providers can potentially improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • advanced care planning
  • hospice care
  • oncology
  • palliative care
  • pancreatic cancer
  • supportive care
  • survivorship care
  • terminal illness

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