Is there any research that shows palliative care is beneficial?

Yes. Research shows that palliative care and its many components are beneficial to patient and family health and well-being. A number of studies in recent years have shown that patients who have their symptoms controlled and are able to communicate their emotional needs have a better experience with their medical care. Their quality of life and physical symptoms improve.

In addition, the Institute of Medicine 2007 report Cancer Care for the Whole Patient cites many studies that show patients are less able to adhere to their treatment and manage their illness and health when physical and emotional problems are present. To view this report, click here

Furthermore, patients who have serious illnesses and receive palliative care consultations have lower hospital costs than those who don’t. These consultations help determine treatment priorities and, therefore, help patients avoid unnecessary tests and procedures.


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Does NCI support palliative care research?

Yes. NCI supports a number of projects in the area of symptom management and palliative care. Clicking the following links online will launch real-time searches of NCI’s list of cancer clinical trialsfor supportive and palliative care that are currently enrolling participants. The search results can be further narrowed by trial location, drug name, intervention type, and other criteria.

General information about cancer clinical trials is also available on NCI’s Clinical Trials Home Page at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials on the Internet. 

In addition, NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship sponsors research that addresses symptom management for patients and families who have completed treatment. For a list of funded studies, go to http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/ocs/portfolio.asp on the Internet.

Moreover, NCI’s Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) sponsors a number of clinical trials that are designed to treat many cancer-related symptoms. These symptoms include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, pain, and sleep problems.

Trials that are designed to prevent symptoms are also listed. For more information, go tohttp://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop on the Internet. These clinical trials will be included in the search results obtained using the links above.

Source: National Cancer Institute (NCI) Website: http://www.cancer.gov/