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Clinical Trial Summary

Hospice care at the end of life (EOL) includes a multidisciplinary team that helps patients and families focus on symptom control and quality of life. For patients with "solid" (e.g. lung, breast) cancers it has been shown to improve quality of life for both patients and families. Unfortunately, patients with blood cancers (e.g. leukemia, lymphoma) often delay their enrollment and receive more aggressive care at the EOL. One factor in this delay is the inability for patients to receive blood transfusions while on hospice. Patients with blood cancers often require frequent blood transfusions near the EOL for symptom control. The structure of Medicare hospice benefit makes coverage for transfusions financially unfeasible for hospice agencies, and therefore patients with blood cancers will delay enrollment onto hospice in order to continue to receive blood transfusions. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether removing this financial burden, through external funding of blood transfusions for patients while on hospice, will encourage patients with blood cancers to enroll on hospice earlier and ultimately improve their and their caregivers EOL care.


Clinical Trial Description

The overall objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of providing blood transfusions to patients with HM enrolled on hospice, and to evaluate both EOL care quality outcomes in these patients, and caregiver quality of life and perception of patient EOL care quality. Palliative blood transfusions will be provided to patients on this study free of cost through study funding. The hypothesis is that removing transfusion dependence as a barrier to hospice enrollment for patients with hematologic malignancies will result in improved EOL care quality outcomes. This hypothesis is derived from our previous research demonstrating that for Medicare beneficiaries with HM, transfusion dependence poses a significant barrier to timely hospice referral. The study design is to conduct a single-center, prospective pilot study . Patients with aggressive hematologic malignancies who are hospice eligible, not pursuing further cancer directed therapy, and whose primary hematologist is planning to initiate a conversation regarding transition to hospice will be pursued for enrollment. These patients will be offered to enroll in this study in which funding will be provided to receive palliative blood transfusions while enrolled on hospice. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05063591
Study type Interventional
Source Brown University
Contact Pamela C Egan, MD
Phone 1-844-222-2881
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date July 9, 2021
Completion date December 31, 2023

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