Palliative chemotherapy is designed to improve the quality of life of mesothelioma patients, easing their symptoms and prolonging their survival. However, a recent study demonstrates that palliative chemotherapy often results in a diminished quality of life – making more invasive late-stage procedures necessary, and even shortening hospice care in some cases.
According to the collaborative study, which was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), there is a startling gap between the end-of-life cancer care that patients expected, and what they received. Investigators analyzed data during a six-year period from 386 terminally ill patients. They concluded that the use of palliative chemotherapy was associated with:
- Late hospice referrals
- Higher rates of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mechanical ventilation during the last week of life
- No increase in survival
The study also found that patients were less likely to die at home. Specifically, only 47% of the patients who received palliative chemotherapy died at home, compared to 66% of the patients who did not receive palliative care.
Ultimately, it appears that palliative chemotherapy may make things worse for patients, instead of easing the burden of their symptoms and prolonging their lives.
If you have further questions about mesothelioma, please contact The Law Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP today or call (410) 625-9330 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Baltimore mesothelioma lawyers. We represent victims of asbestos exposure in Maryland, Washington D.C., and surrounding areas.