A review of the Rapid Response Radiotherapy Program in patients with advanced cancer referred for palliative radiotherapy over two decades
The Rapid Response Radiotherapy Program (RRRP) is an outpatient radiotherapy clinic for palliative cancer patients where consultation, planning, and radiation treatment can take place in 1 day, allowing for rapid access to care. The objective of this study was to compare the patient population and overall survival of patients seen in the RRRP from 2014 to 2017 to that of patients seen in 1999.
Patient characteristics including sex, primary cancer site, sites of metastases, and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) were recorded at each clinic visit. Date of death (DOD) was retrieved from the Patient Care System (PCS) and Excelicare. To show overall survival from the first clinic visit, a Kaplan-Meier overall survival curve was generated in all patients from 2014 to 2017.
Five hundred ninety-six patients were included in the final analysis. Most patients were male (n = 347) with a primary cancer site of the lung (n = 165) and metastases to the bone (n = 475). Actuarial median overall survival was 15.3 months. In 1999, 395 patients were analyzed, in which a primary of the lung (n = 143) and metastases to the bone (n = 277) were the most prevalent. An additional 72 patients in this population had brain metastases. The actuarial median survival of the 1999 population was 4.5 months.
The changing patient population in the RRRP has resulted in visible changes in survival. This may reflect differences in the proportion of patients with specific primaries and sites of metastases, as well as improvements in the availability of palliative radiation over the last two decades.
KeywordsPalliative care Radiotherapy Survival outcome Primary cancer site Sites of metastases
We thank the generous support of Bratty Family Fund, Michael and Karyn Goldstein Cancer Research Fund, Joey and Mary Furfari Cancer Research Fund, Pulenzas Cancer Research Fund, Joseph and Silvana Melara Cancer Research Fund, and Ofelia Cancer Research Fund.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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