An analysis of records from the National Cancer Database indicated ethnic and demographic disparities regarding the use of palliative care exist among patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and its usage was relatively low despite oncologic guidelines for early integration of palliative care among patients with advanced malignancies. These findings were presented during the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

Researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute extracted data from 20,122 patients with stage III RCC and 42,014 with stage IV RCC between 2004 and 2014 and evaluated them for palliative care use and demographic characteristics.

Over the study duration, few patients (approximately 1% annually) received palliative care for stage III RCC (329 patients). The proportion of patients with stage IV RCC receiving palliative care increased over time from 17% in 2004 to 20% in 2014 (9317 patients).

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Patients who were Black, had stage III RCC, underwent surgery, lived outside the Northeast, or earned more than $48,000 annually were less likely to receive palliative care.

Conversely, patients who were women, received systemic therapies, had sarcomatoid histology, were treated at academic or integrated cancer programs, had more comorbidities, were uninsured or had government-associated insurance, or had lower educational status were more likely to receive palliative care.

These data indicated access to palliative care among patients with advanced RCC was not equal across sociodemographic characteristics, indicating a more equitable system is needed to ensure palliative care becomes systematically available to all patients with stage III and IV RCC.

Disclosure: Some authors declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.


Patel H V, Sterling J, Srivastava A, et al. Factors associated with palliative care (PC) utilization in advanced and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl):abstr 297. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.6_suppl.297

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor