Current Oncology Reports

, 20:97 | Cite as

Practical Strategies for Optimizing and Integrating Palliative Care in Cancer

  • Michael Burt
  • Arif H. KamalEmail author
Palliative Medicine (A Jatoi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Palliative Medicine


Purpose of Review

Recent reforms in medical payment coupled with a rapidly evolving pharmacotherapeutic armamentarium is creating a transition in the field of oncology. This transition represents a key period for conceptual reevaluation, providing an opportunity for furthered strategic integration of palliative care within the realm of oncology.

Recent Findings

Historically, oncologists have relied upon prognostic assessments to gauge appropriateness for referrals to specialty palliative care. Recent literature has elucidated on the early palliative burdens of cancer, demonstrated the importance of complexity-based palliative referrals, and begun the conversation to define provider-specific roles.


Herein, we describe a model that overlaps complexity with oncology capacity, to target specialty services to those who could benefit most. This article will review the role of palliative care as a care philosophy, the enduring and important role of the oncologist in providing palliative care, and the important areas for integration of specialty services when needed.


Secondary palliative care Complexity based Integration Palliative care Early palliative care Early integrated palliative care 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Michael Burt declares that he has no conflict of interest. Arif H. Kamal owns stock in and is the Chief Executive Officer of Prepped Health LLC, and owns stock in and is the Chief Medical Officer of Acclivity Health Solutions.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke University HealthDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Duke Cancer InstituteDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Duke Fuqua School of BusinessDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of Population Health SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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