The following article features coverage from the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2021 Virtual Congress. Click here to read more of Hematology Advisor‘s conference coverage.

A system for providing home-based intensive chemotherapy is feasible and safe for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), according to new research.

The study was presented at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2021 Virtual Congress by Kristina Holmegaard Nørskov, a clinical nurse specialist at Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet in Denmark.

Ms Nørskov said that home-based chemotherapy has proven to be a safe, patient-centered alternative to hospital and outpatient care. However, there is a lack of evidence on home-based chemotherapy in patients with hematologic malignancies.


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Ms Nørskov and colleagues set out to investigate the feasibility and safety of home-based intensive chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed AML or high-risk MDS. The researchers also assessed patients’ quality of life.

The study was a single-arm, multicenter trial in Denmark that enrolled 104 patients. All patients received intensive chemotherapy via a preprogrammed, portable infusion pump with an “intuitive, user-friendly interface,” according to Ms Nørskov.

The patients participated in an educational program and could contact the hematology department at their hospital 24 hours a day. Patients were instructed to contact the department if they developed a fever or if the pump’s alarm was activated.

The median observation time was 144 patient-days. Enrolled patients received 264 treatments, which translated to 1644 pump-infusion days.

Roughly a quarter of treatment cycles (24%; 64/264) were administered solely as home-based treatment, with no hospital admissions required.

Patients contacted the hospital a total of 102 times — 50 cases prompted by symptoms (primarily fever, nausea, or bleeding) and 52 cases prompted by the pump alarm.

There were 18 non-serious adverse events related to the pump alarm that required hospital visits. There were no serious adverse events.

Patients reported feeling safe and knowing when to contact the hospital, and more than 70% of patients said they felt involved in the course of home-based treatment.

Most patients said at-home treatment positively impacted their ability to be physically active and spend time with friends and family.

Patients’ quality of life and psychological well-being improved from baseline to the 36-week follow-up.

“This study demonstrates that . . . home-based portable infusion of complex chemotherapy in newly diagnosed patients with AML or high-risk MDS was feasible and safe, with no serious adverse events detected,” Ms Nørskov said.

“These findings have the potential to guide the implementation of future home-based treatment initiatives and also positively impact supportive care services in the population by increasing their active participation in the treatment and by sustaining their everyday life.”

Disclosures: The presenter reported having no disclosures.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of the EHA 2021 Virtual Congress by visiting the conference page.

Reference

Nørskov K, Fridthjof K, Kampmann P, et al. A national Danish proof of concept on feasibility and safety of home-based intensive chemotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Paper presented at: European Hematology Association 2021 Virtual Congress; June 2021; Abstract S134.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor