Early palliative care for patients with glioblastoma

German Version

A randomized phase III clinical trial (EPCOG)

Project leader: Assistant Professor Dr. med. Heidrun Golla

Department of Palliative Medicine: Assistant Professor Dr. med. Heidrun Golla, Melanie Joshi, Isabel Franke, Simone Matte, Prof. Dr. med. Raymond Voltz

Center for Neurosurgery, Department of General Neurosurgery: Dr. rer. nat. Charlotte Nettekoven, Sophia Kochs, Dr. med. Catharina Schröter, Dr. med. Lena Dreher, Dr. med. Gina Fürtjes, Patrick Melich, Dr. med. Moritz Lenschow, Prof. Dr. med. Roland Goldbrunner

Clinical project management: Dr. rer. nat.  Charlotte Nettekoven
Project management (Clinical Trials Centre Cologne): Irini Papachristou
Duration: 11/2018 - 10/2023
Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, FKZ: 01GY1703)

Project Description

A proactive, early specialized palliative care in systemic cancer has been proven to improve quality of life and depression of the patients as well as decrease aggressiveness of the treatment to the end of life and even might extend life span. Moreover the burden of the caregivers can be reduced. These positive effects have already been shown for different systemic cancer entities. However, data on the effect of early integration of palliative care are still missing for patients with brain tumors like the highly malignant glioblastoma (and their caregivers).

Until now glioblastoma patients are less likely to receive palliative care than other cancer patients. Their disease specific needs are probably not met by a "one size fits all" generic palliative care approach. Location and growth rate of the tumor cause serious, fast developing, neuropsychiatric, life changing symptoms on patients’ side resulting also in a high caregiver burden.

In this study we, therefore, aim to investigate the efficacy of an early integration of palliative care tailored to patients with glioblastoma and their caregivers. Patients with a newly diagnosed or recurrent glioblastoma can be enrolled to this study. Moreover, caregiving persons shall also be enrolled into the study. This multicenter study will be conducted at the University Hospital of Cologne (Department of for Palliative Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, Institute of Medical Statistics and Computational Biology, Institute of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology, Clinical Trials Centre Cologne) in collaboration with four other university hospitals in Germany (study centers: Aachen, Bonn, Freiburg and Munich). (Further information: DRKS00016066)

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