Outcomes in Critically Ill Oncologic Patients

  • Silvio A. Ñamendys-SilvaEmail author
Reference work entry


Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. The introduction of new treatments for cancer and advances in the intensive care of critically ill cancer patients has improved the prognosis and survival. In recent years, classical intensive care unit (ICU) admission comorbidity criteria have been discouraging in this group of patients because the risk factors for death that have been studied, primarily the number of organ failures, allow us to understand the determinants of the prognosis inside the ICU. The number of cancer patients needing ICU care has increased both for cancer-related complications and for treatment-associated side effects. Approximately 13–22% of cancer patients will need admission to a general ICU, and only the 27% of ICU admissions are directly linked with cancer. Survival rates for patients with cancer who are admitted to the ICU have improved; therefore, admission should not be denied to patients only on the basis of their cancer diagnosis. Specialists who treat critically ill cancer patients should implement preventive measures to avoid in-hospital death of cancer patients, identifying them at an earlier stage of organ failures. ICU admission should help to prevent, detect, and treat organ dysfunction when offering full support to those cancer patients who are candidates for ICU admission to impact their final outcome. At present, treatment of these patients presents challenges for the oncologist, hematologist, surgical oncologist, and critical care specialist.


Cancer patients Oncologic patients Solid tumors Hematological malignancies Intensive care unit Critical care Outcomes 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineMedica Sur Clinic and FoundationMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Department of Critical Care MedicineInstituto Nacional de CancerologíaMexico CityMexico

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