Innovations for the integration of palliative care for hematologic malignancies.
Specialist palliative care provides additional support to facilitate living well with a serious illness, like cancer, even while pursuing disease-directed therapy. For patients with hematologic malignancies, integrated specialist palliative care improves symptom burden, mood, and quality of life, with benefits even extending to caregivers. Despite this, patients with hematologic malignancies continue to have significant unmet palliative care needs and typically access palliative care late in their disease trajectories, if at all. In this paper, we will define specialist palliative care and review its benefits for patients with hematologic malignancies. We will discuss the unmet palliative care needs of this patient population and the barriers to integrating palliative care and oncologic care. Finally, we will explore innovations and areas of future research to enhance and optimize palliative care integration into usual cancer care treatment for patients with hematologic malignancies. We will explore the importance of ongoing clinical trials that are examining the correct "dose" of palliative care; the use of technology and telehealth; and the use of novel treatments for this patient population. Together, we will consider innovative avenues to provide palliative care to patients with hematologic malignancies and their caregivers.
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