Jason Webb, MD, GIM Assistant Professor of Medicine and Palliative Care Specialist, and Thomas William LeBlanc, MD, Associate Professor in Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy, presented at the Duke Palliative Care Grand Rounds on Tuesday, June 26. Their presentation was entitled "Early palliative care in hematologic malignancies: insights and experiences from a collaborative clinical trial.”
During their presentation they discussed an ongoing active trial that is occurring at Duke, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Penn, called the LEAP Trial, in which they are both involved.
"Essentially this is a Collaborative Palliative Care with Oncology for Patients with High Risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML)," explains Webb.
The patients are randomized to a control arm (usual oncologic care) vs early palliative care and usual oncologic care. Webb and LeBlanc demonstrated the importance of this model of care for earlier integration for hematologic malignancy patients, as prior data has shown improved outcomes for patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation when palliative care is involved earlier, namely improved outcomes on measures of quality of life, depression, anxiety, and treatment/hospitalization related PTSD.
The current study is applying that intervention to patients with AML specifically, when those patients are receiving high-dose chemotherapy in the hospital. The patients spend about a month in the hospital to receive this high-dose chemotherapy treatment and face significant symptoms and psychological distress as a result.
"We are hoping to improve their experiences by integrating specialist palliative care services into their care, as an extra layer of support," says LeBlanc.
This was the last Duke Palliative Care Grand Rounds presentation before summer break. Grand Rounds will resume August 21, 2018.