Chemotherapy and radiotherapy. When to call it quits.

Geoff Mitchell, David Currow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Patients diagnosed with cancer are often treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy with curative intent. The transition from curative to palliative intent involves re-evaluation of treatment, and has to take into account the attitudes, beliefs and life aims of the patient. OBJECTIVE: To discuss the difficulties in determining when to cease chemotherapy and radiotherapy in patients with advanced cancer. DISCUSSION: The concept of treatment evaluation using a 'burden versus benefit' paradigm is discussed. Treatment aims must be in concordance with those of the patient, which are often couched in functional terms or linked to future significant life events. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can offer patients in the palliative phase of cancer illness, benefits in terms of relief of symptoms and meaningful prolongation of life, and should be considered in appropriate circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


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