The Rise of Supportive Oncology: A Revolution in Cancer Care

R. Berman, B. J.A. Laird, O. Minton, D. Monnery, A. Ahamed, E. Boland, J. Droney, J. Vidrine, C. Leach, F. Scotté, M. B. Lustberg, J. Lacey, R. Chan, T. Duffy, S. Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

9 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in oncology have seen the emergence of populations no longer fully served by the traditional palliative care model. This has created a new language in the terms used to describe cancer care, and a need for clarity on how these should be defined. The term ‘supportive care’ is commonly used and is inclusive of palliative care and survivorship. However, it is often confused with ‘best supportive care’ or used as a euphemism for palliative care. We therefore propose ‘supportive oncology’, an umbrella term echoing the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) definition [1], describing a multidisciplinary group of health professionals involved in the prevention and management of the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment, across the whole spectrum of the disease. Optimal supportive oncology requires a multitude of specialties (e.g. cardio-oncology, onco-endocrinology, acute oncology, palliative care) to assist accurate diagnosis and management, and ultimately improve outcomes. Hence, this editorial focuses on its development as an emerging specialty/sub-specialty and asks: who is the workforce; what skills do they need and what training is required to fully meet patient/carer needs?

Decades of investment into cancer research are paying off. The push to improve survival, our application of cancer genomics, coupled with the explosion of targeted systemic anti-cancer therapies, has transformed oncology...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-215
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Oncology
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Oncology
  • Cancer care
  • Cancer research


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