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עמוד בית
Wed, 19.06.24

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September 2021
Shirly Shapiro MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Meirav Schmidt MD, Eran Ben Arye MD, Jamal Dagash MD, Alexander Yosipovich MD, and Yakir Segev MD

Background: Early referral to palliative care services in patients with advanced cancer is widely accepted. In addition, the use of futile intervention at the end of life is a pivotal aspect of assessing quality of care at that time.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of palliative care and aggressive treatments during the last month of life in women with gynecological malignancies.

Methods: The study was designed in two steps. The first step included a retrospective analysis of a gynecologic oncology cohort that underwent end-of-life (EOL) care. In the second part, a questionnaire regarding EOL care was completed by family members. Since our palliative care service became more active after 2014, we compared data from the years 2013–2014 to the years 2015–2019.

Results: We identified 89 patients who died from gynecological malignancy during study period; 21% received chemotherapy and 40% underwent invasive procedures during their last month of life. A palliative care consultation was documented for 49% of patients more than one week before their death. No statistical difference was achieved between the two time periods regarding the use of chemotherapy or invasive procedures in the last month of life. Nonetheless, after the incorporation of palliative medicine more women had palliative care consultations and had EOL discussions. Most of the patients’ relatives were satisfied with EOL care.

Conclusions: Many aggressive interventions were given during the last month of life. EOL discussions were documented in the medical charts of most patients and the rates increased with time.

October 2012
E. Segal, S. Felder , N. Haim, H. Yoffe-Sheinman, A. Peer, M. Wollner, Z. Shen-Or and S. Ish-Shalom

 Background: Vitamin D status is not evaluated routinely in cancer patients with bone metastasis who are treated with bisphosphonates.

Objectives: To assess the effect of vitamin D status on risk of hypocalcemia and quality of life in these patients.

Methods: We performed laboratory tests for routine serum biochemistry, 25(OH)D, plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) and bone turnover markers (CTX, P1NP) in 54 patients aged 57.5 ± 13 years treated with intravenous bisphosphonates.

Results: Most of the patients (n=44, 77.8%) did not receive calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Their mean serum 25(OH)D levels (12.83 ± 6.86 ng/ml) correlated with vitamin D daily intake (P = 0.002). In 53 patients (98.1%) 25(OH)D levels were suboptimal (< 30 ng/ml). Albumin-corrected calcium levels correlated with plasma PTH (P = 0.001). No correlation was observed between daily calcium intake and serum calcium (P = 0.45). Hypocalcemia was observed in one patient. Mean plasma PTH was 88.5 ± 65 ng/L. Plasma PTH correlated negatively with 25(OH)D serum levels (P = 0.003) and positively with P1NP (P = 0.004). Albumin-corrected calcium correlated negatively with P1NP (mean 126.9 ± 191 ng/ml) but not with CTX levels (mean 0.265 ± 0.1 ng/ml) (P < 0.001). There was no correlation among quality of life parameters, yearly sun exposure and 25(OH)D levels (P = 0.99).

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is frequent in oncology patients with bone metastasis treated with bisphosphonates and might increase bone damage. Our results indicate a minor risk for the development of severe hypocalcemia in vitamin D-deficient patients receiving bisphosphonate therapy. Although vitamin D deficiency might have some effect on the quality of life in these patients, it was not proven significant.
 

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