30-Day Mortality Following Palliative Radiotherapy

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Purpose: 30-day mortality (30-DM) is a parameter with widespread use as an indicator of avoidance of harm used in medicine. Our objective is to determine the 30-DM followed by palliative radiation therapy (RT) in our department and to identify potential prognosis factors. Material/Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study including patients treated with palliative RT in our center during 2018 and 2019. Data related to clinical and treatment characteristics were collected. Results: We treated 708 patients to whom 992 palliative irradiations were delivered. The most frequent primary tumor sites were lung (31%), breast (14.8%), and gastrointestinal (14.8%). Bone was the predominant location of the treatment (56%), and the use of single doses was the preferred treatment schedule (34.4%). The 30-DM was 17.5%. For those who died in the first month the median survival was 17 days. Factors with a significant impact on 30-DM were: male gender (p < 0.0001); Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status (PS) of 2–3 (p = 0.0001); visceral metastases (p = 0.0353); lung, gastrointestinal or urinary tract primary tumors (p = 0.016); and single dose RT (p = <0.0001). In the multivariate analysis, male gender, ECOG PS 2–3, gastrointestinal and lung cancer were found to be independent factors related to 30-DM. Conclusion: Our 30-DM is similar to previous studies. We have found four clinical factors related to 30-DM of which ECOG was the most strongly associated. This data may help to identify terminally ill patients with poor prognosis in order to avoid unnecessary treatments.




Vázquez, M., Altabas, M., Moreno, D. C., Geng, A. A., Pérez-Hoyos, S., & Giralt, J. (2021). 30-Day Mortality Following Palliative Radiotherapy. Frontiers in Oncology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.668481

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