INTRODUCTION: Few studies assessed, in real life, symptoms, specific interventions and factors influencing palliative care (PC) initiation for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The objective of this study was to examine, in a prospective cohort of advanced NSCLC patients, PC use and factors associated with early (≤3 months after diagnosis) PC initiation.
METHODS: It was an observational multicenter study. Each center included 10 consecutive patients with PC initiation.
RESULTS: 514 patients were enrolled by 39 centers (age: 62.3 ± 10.7 years, performance status: 0/1; 68.6% cases). At baseline, the most frequent symptoms concerned pain (43.6%), malnutrition (37%) and psychological disorders (25.3%). Specific interventions were infrequent for pain control and malnutrition, but were more numerous for psychological and social problems and terminal care. Median time between diagnosis and PC initiation was 35 [13-84] days, median PC duration was 4.2 [0.6-9.3] months. Median overall survival was 8.6 [6.6-10.7] months; median survival after PC initiation was 3.6 [3.2-4.5] months. In multivariate analysis, only PS ≥2 was linked to early PC.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that early PC initiation is not a standard for patients with advanced NSCLC.