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Treatment breaks in an oncology unit
  1. Fanny Vareille1,
  2. François Chaumier2,3,
  3. Claude Linassier1,
  4. Donatien Mallet4 and
  5. Mathilde Cancel1,5
  1. 1Medical Oncology Department, Regional University Hospital Centre Tours, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France
  2. 2Equipe Mobile de Soins Palliatifs 37, Regional University Hospital Centre Tours, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France
  3. 3INSERM UMR 1246 SPHERE, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France
  4. 4Palliative Care Unit, Regional University Hospital Centre Tours, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France
  5. 5N2COx, INSERM UMR 1069, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mathilde Cancel, Medical Oncology Department, Regional University Hospital Centre Tours, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, France; m.cancel{at}chu-tours.fr

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The increase in the number and effectiveness of anticancer drugs has lengthened patients’ overall survival (OS) and simultaneously prolonged their time spent on treatment.1 This has led healthcare professionals to question the proportionality of care, particularly regarding when to suspend treatments that would be detrimental to the patient’s quality of life.2 3 The main publications on treatment break in cancer are in colorectal cancers or concerning immunotherapy.4 5

We report here the rate of treatment breaks in our cancer care unit, to assess the reality of this practice. We also aimed to characterise those breaks: the type of cancers involved and patients’ clinical outcomes (break duration, OS).

We screened 700 successive medical oncology consults from 2 December 2019 to 31 January 2020. These visits included breast, gynaecological, urological, brain, thyroid cancers and sarcomas, while excluding digestive, dermatological, cervicofacial and pulmonary cancers (as these are managed in other clinical units at our institution). We included only palliative care patients. We compared patient characteristics between those who experienced a short break (≤3 months) and those who had a long break (≥12 months) in search of predictive factors of long breaks. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS V.26, and a p value<0.05 was considered statistically significant. This study was declared to the CNIL (National Commission for Data Protection).

We …

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Footnotes

  • X @matcancel

  • Contributors FV initiated the project, collected, cleaned and analysed the data, drafted and revised the paper. FC designed the study, drafted and revised the paper. CL analysed the data, and revised the paper. DM designed the study, drafted and revised the paper. MC monitored data collection, analysed the data and drafted and revised the draft paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.