A systematic review of clinical trials indicates that early palliative care interventions may have beneficial effects on quality of life and symptom intensity among patients with advanced cancer. Beginning in October, 2016, researchers searched for clinical trials on early palliative care in adults with advanced cancer. They included seven studies and found 20 ongoing studies. Most of the studies included participants older than 65 years of age on average, diagnosed with different tumor types and receiving treatment in tertiary care centers in North America. Most of these studies compared early palliative care with standard oncological (cancer) care. All studies were funded by government agencies.
When evaluated together in a meta-analysis, studies showed that in patients with advanced cancer, early palliative care may slightly increase quality of life. It may also decrease symptom intensity to a small degree. Click here to read a detailed overview of the review and its findings.