Palliative Care and Phase 1 Trials: Intervention to improve quality of life and provide education

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients in phase 1 clinical trials often have significant symptom burdens and quality-of-life concerns that increase as they progress along the cancer trajectory and experience drug toxicities from the clinical trial.

OBJECTIVES:

The interdisciplinary intervention described is aimed at providing optimum palliative care to support patients with solid tumors participating in a phase 1 clinical trial.

METHODS:

The intervention includes a baseline evaluation using quantitative surveys, a comprehensive palliative care assessment by a research nurse based on patient baseline evaluation, and a goals-of-care discussion by the treating oncologist. The second component includes an interdisciplinary meeting where palliative care recommendations are made, followed by two patient education sessions.

FINDINGS:

The initial experience with the palliative care intervention suggests a need for support for this population, as well as potential benefits from integrating palliative care for patients enrolled in phase 1 clinical trials.

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