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PALLIA 10 score in phase I cancer studies

Abstract

Objective Phase I clinical trials usually include patients with advanced disease who have failed standard therapies and should benefit from early palliative care. We try to assess whether PALLIA 10, a score developed in France to help identify patients who might benefit from a palliative care referral, could be used in a phase I department trial.

Methods We assessed PALLIA 10 score and other prognostic factors in patients enrolled in phase I trials at Gustave Roussy Cancer Center prospectively during two periods of time (cohort 1 (C1) and 2 (C2)). A double-blind assessment of the PALLIA 10 score was done in C2 by a palliative care specialist and a nurse.

Results From 1 July 2018 to 1 November 2018 (C1) and from 1 December 2020 to 16 April 2021 (C2), 86 patients were assessed in C1 and 302 in C2. Median PALLIA 10 was very low in both cohorts (median 1, range 1–5 in C1 and 1–8 in C2). On C1 and C2, 12% and 5% of patients had a dedicated palliative consultation. In C2, assessment of PALLIA 10 score was significantly different between palliative care physician (median 5, range 3–8), phase I physician (median 1, range 1–6) and phase I nurse (median 3, range 1–8) (p<0.001).

Conclusion Median PALLIA 10 score was low when assessed by the phase I physician, which suggests the need for a better tool and appropriate clinician’s education to implement early palliative care in clinical practice and trials.

  • Supportive care

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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