During COVID pandemic, many cancer patients (pts) refused to come to hospital, suspending therapies, with ominous consequences. Based on positive (+) results of DOMONCOVID, our homecare project for COVID+ cancer pts, we created a new model of assistance, ONCOHOME, delivering cancer care at home to immune-compromised pts. We aim to provide data on feasibility, efficacy and costs of this innovative model.
ONCOHOME is a multicenter project involving 3 Cancer Center (CC) of the North of Italy: National Cancer Institute, San Raffaele in Milan and Cremona CC. We created an organizational homecare model based on a medical and nursing team with a car equipped for home visits and a secretariat managing patient calls, with a dedicated phone number. The team administers cancer care at home and provides pts with the same assistance usually delivered in hospital. Patient-reported outcome (PRO) assessment is performed.
From August 3rd 2020 to May 5th 2021, 79 cancer pts were assisted at home by Cremona team, receiving oral (62 pts), subcutaneous (10pts) or intravenous therapy (7 pts). All types of cancer were included. 77% of pts had a metastatic disease, 88% had a PS ECOG 0-1. Median duration of assistance was 126 days [range 2-270 days]. Most of the pts received oral chemotherapy (41pts). TKIs (25 pts), hormonal therapy (12 pts), supportive care with denosumab and zolendronic acid (5 pts ) and immunotherapy (1 patient, pt) were successfully administered at home, too. 13 pts required hospitalization due to clinical complications. In this group, only 2 pts were admitted to hospital due to severe toxicity; in particular, 1 pt treated with trifluridin/tipiracil developed febrile neutropenia and 1 pt treated with gefitinib reported Grade 3 diarrhea. Both pts were discharged and continued to be assisted at home.
ONCOHOME showed that inpatient or outpatient cancer drug administration could be successfully replaced by home administration, for appropriate therapies and selected pts. This model is feasible at an affordable cost. The project is ongoing, planning to accrue other 100 pts for each center. ONCOHOME will be implemented with electronic devices for PRO evaluation, certified telemedicine service and non-invasive wearable smart tissue monitoring physiological parameters devices.
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Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.