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Assessing End-of-Life Treatment in Young People

J Oncol Pract; ePub 2017 Aug 22; Johnston, et al

3 in every 10 adolescents and young adults with hematologic malignancies had multiple intense end-of-life interventions, according to a retrospective, population-based analysis involving nearly 13,000 individuals. Participants were Californians between 15 and 39 years of age who died with cancer between 2000 and 2011 at specialty and nonspecialty cancer centers. Investigators looked at intense end-of-life interventions, including readmission, admission to an intensive care unit, intubation in the last month of life, and in-hospital death. Among the results:

  • 59% received at least 1 intense end-of-life care intervention.
  • 30% received ≥2 such interventions.
  • Patients treated at nonspecialty centers were 46% more likely than those at specialty-care centers to receive ≥2 intense interventions.
  • Sociodemographic and clinical factors linked with receiving ≥2 intense interventions were minority race/ethnicity, younger age, and hematologic malignancies.


Johnston E, Alvarez E, Saynina O, Sanders L, Bhatia S, Chamberlain L. End-of-life intensity for adolescents and young adults with cancer: A Californian population-based study that shows disparities. [Published online ahead of print August 22, 2017]. J Oncol Pract. doi:10.1200/JOP.2016.020586.