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A new comprehensive and stratified concept for supportive care in cancer patients.

PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: Supportive care in oncology has evolved alongside effective anticancer treatments since the 1960s, beginning with the advent of chemotherapy for acute leukemia. It was initially focused on managing treatment-induced complications, and expanded to address broader aspects of patient well being; the scope of supportive care needs to be periodically re-assessed.

RECENT FINDINGS: Early palliative care interventions, and more recently advance care planning emerged as vital components, improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Despite barriers, such as prognostic uncertainty, these approaches have demonstrated significant benefits for patients with advanced disease. Additionally, the management of cancer survivors requires ongoing medical surveillance and psycho-social support. In the last years, integrative medicine has also emerged as a complementary approach to address survivors' holistic needs.

SUMMARY: A proposed stratified model of supportive care emphasizes interventions based on patients' prognosis, with interdisciplinary collaboration ensuring comprehensive care across all stages of the cancer journey. This model provides a framework for the development of integrated supportive care units.

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