Early Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Official Title

Early Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer


Patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer experience significant physical and psychosocial distress, have unrealistic expectations of their prognosis, and often receive futile chemotherapy at the end of life. Palliative care, which could effectively address these issues, is typically employed late in the course of the disease only after curative treatment options have been exhausted. 
To examine the feasibility of introducing palliative care soon after diagnosis of disease progression or recurrence.

Trial Description


  • The consent rate, defined as the proportion of eligible women approached to participate that enrol, 
  • The completion rate of the FACT-O, and 
  • The adherence rate, defined as the number of completed sessions relative to the number of scheduled sessions with palliative care.

  • Assess the impact of early palliative care integrated with standard oncologic care on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, compared to standard oncologic care alone

  • Compare the prevalence of depression in each study arm
  • Assess the impact of early palliative care on performance status
  • Determine change in patient perceptions of prognosis and treatment goals
  • Assess the impact of early palliative care on progression free and overall survival
  • Compare chemotherapy use between study arms, particularly the percentage of patients who receive chemotherapy within two months, one month, and two weeks of death
  • Compare resuscitation status documentation between study arms
OUTLINE:This is a single centre pilot study at KGH. Participants will undergo 1:1 randomization to early palliative care or standard care.  Patients randomized to the early palliative care group will meet with a palliative care physician from the Palliative Care Medicine Program at KGH in an outpatient palliative medicine clinic after providing written consent. Standard care participants will be treated at the discretion of their oncologists.

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society