Context. Metastatic lung cancer is an incurable disease that results in a high burden of symptoms, a poor quality of life, and an expected prognosis of less than one year after diagnosis. Treatment shortly before death may result in potential burdensome and inappropriate hospital admissions and hospital deaths. Dying at home is, at a population level, considered a quality for good end-of-life care.
Objectives. We examined what percentage of patients with metastatic lung cancer died inside the hospital and if hospital death, or other characteristics of the patient, oncologist or health care, were associated with treatment in the last month of life.
Methods. This retrospective cohort study evaluated the medical records of 1322 patients with metastatic lung cancer who received care at one of 10 hospitals across The Netherlands and died between 1/6/2013 and 31/7/2015. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained from the medical records.
Results. In total, 18% of the patients died during a hospital admission. This percentage was higher for patients who received chemotherapy (42%) or targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (25%) in the last month of life. Patients younger than 60 years of age, patients who received chemotherapy in the last month of life, and patients in whom tyrosine kinase inhibitors were started in the last month of life were more likely to die inside the hospital.
Conclusion. In The Netherlands, fewer than one in five patients with metastatic lung cancer died in the hospital and in-hospital death was associated with the relatively late use of chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Careful selection of patients for disease-modifying therapy might enhance the opportunity for patients to die at their preferred place. (C) 2019 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- End of life
- lung cancer
- place of death