Kavita Dharmarajan on Palliative Radiation Oncology Referrals

Kavita Dharmarajan, MD, MSc, assistant professor of radiation oncology and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses palliative radiation oncology referrals.

Kavita Dharmarajan, MD, MSc, assistant professor of radiation oncology and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses palliative radiation oncology referrals.

In a study evaluating 336 patients with stage IV cancer receiving radiation for symptomatic bone metastases, 161 received a combination of palliative care and radiation therapy and were found to be more likely to finish treatment, have a condensed course of therapy, and be discharged from the hospital earlier.

Within one month of completing palliative radiation, Dharmarajan saw an increase in the use of palliative care services. For these patients, management of their symptoms continued beyond radiation and painkillers to include additional provisions of support and care coordination.

Patients treated under the new model may have had access to palliative care services sooner than those referred through standard channels, Dharmarajan says.