Publication Abstract

Authors: Brooks GA, Cronin AM, Uno H, Schrag D, Keating NL, Mack JW

Title: Intensity of Medical Interventions between Diagnosis and Death in Patients with Advanced Lung and Colorectal Cancer: A CanCORS Analysis.

Journal: J Palliat Med 19(1):42-50

Date: 2016 Jan

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Medical interventions are an important component of the illness experience in advanced cancer. OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of medical interventions between diagnosis and death in decedents with metastatic lung and colorectal cancer. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a prospective cohort study. SETTING/SUBJECTS: We studied 1,840 decedents from the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) study. Subjects had been diagnosed with stage IV lung or colorectal cancer between 2003 and 2005. MEASUREMENTS: Hospitalizations, surgeries, radiation therapy treatments, chemotherapy treatments, and end-of-life care, reported by tertile of overall survival time. RESULTS: Median survival in the bottom, middle, and top tertiles of survival was 1.2, 5.3, and 15.3 months for lung cancer, and 3.0, 18.0, and 44.4 months for colorectal cancer. Hospitalizations, chemotherapy receipt, and hospice enrollment increased with increasing survival. The median duration of chemotherapy in the top survival tertile was 149 days for lung cancer and 498 days for colorectal cancer. A minority of decedents used any hospice services, and the median duration of hospice enrollment exceeded 30 days only for enrollees in the top survival tertile (lung cancer, 35 days; colorectal cancer, 66 days). CONCLUSIONS: For patients with metastatic lung and colorectal cancer, longer survival is associated with increased intensity of medical care, characterized by greater use of chemotherapy and acute hospital care. Hospice utilization was uniformly low, and most hospice enrollees were referred to hospice in the last 30 days of life.