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End-of-Life Chemotherapy for Cancer Patients in Question: Dr. Prigerson Publishes Landmark Findings in JAMA Oncology

Dr. Holly Prigerson

Challenging widespread clinical practice and accepted treatment guidelines, Dr. Holly Prigerson, Irving Sherwood Wright Professor in Geriatrics, has published a paper in JAMA Oncology that puts the value of chemotherapy for end-of-life patients with cancer into question. She and colleagues examined 661 end-stage patients enrolled in their long-term prospective, multi-institutional study. A scale known as the ECOG allowed the researchers to evaluate the patients' performance status. Among several findings, it was found that patients who were ambulatory (able to do light work) and receiving chemotherapy at study entry, had significantly lower quality of life at the end of their lives compared to those who were not receiving chemotherapy.