OBJECTIVES: Cytotoxic chemotherapy has been the main approaches to cancer therapy, but frequently poor survival benefit and substantial toxicity is observed. Over the past decade, cytostatic drugs has been developed and hoped that such anticancer agents would have low toxicity and prolong survival. In Korea, cytotoxic therapy is also the standard of cancer treatments, and the National Health Insurance (NHI) program pays 95% of the total medical cost for cancer patients. However, the cost of cytostatic therapy of Korean traditional medicine is not covered by the NHI. In spite of such high cost, patients still seek to traditional medicine of cytostatic therapy. Characteristics of these patients and future research directions are presented. METHODS: Cytostatic drug which is founded on Korean traditional medicine is the main anti-cancer agents in our cancer center. Since this is oral drug, oncology trained medical coordinators offered consultation including eligibility for intake. After consultation eligible patients decide the first visit. We reviewed and analyzed telephone consultation logs and first visit medical records to investigate patient characteristics. RESULTS: A total of 19,815 calls were received, and about 25% made the first visit. Log showed similar gender, and wide range of age. Most (67.7%) had one or more metastatic sites. Majority was able to eat and move, but some had ascites, pleural effusion, jaundice, dyspnea (3-10%), and used narcotic (13%). At first visit, as old as age 97 received care (mean age 54.8>/-14.3; ranged 1-97), and lung, hepatobiliary, colon, gastric, breast and pancreatic cancer were comprised of 80% of cancers. Among these about 40-50% had poor performance status (ECOG 2-4). CONCLUSIONS: In consideration of the size of the center and non-insured, offering cytostatic therapy received with remarkable attention by the patients previously treated with cytotoxic therapy. Further research is needed to investigate cons and pros of cytostatic therapy.
Kim, E. H., Park, S., Lee, J. S., Choi, H. S., Kim, K. S., Kim, S., & Choi, W. C. (2012). PCN112 Characteristics of Cancer Patients Who Seek Cytostatic Therapy in Korea: A Pilot Study. Value in Health, 15(7), A429–A430. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2012.08.2152