Deprescribing in palliative patients with cancer: a concise review of tools and guidelines

Lisanne N. van Merendonk*, Mirjam Crul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Palliative cancer patients can benefit from deprescribing of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). Tools and guidelines developed for the geriatric population are mainly available. This systematic review gives an overview of available guidelines and tools to deprescribe for palliative cancer patients. Methods: A systematic search was carried out using the databases SCOPUS and PubMed. Studies focused on palliative cancer patients were included. Results: The search identified 137 studies of which 15 studies were included in this systematic review. Six of the included tools were developed specifically for cancer patients. One of these tools was externally validated and applied in several studies and settings. Guidelines or tools that were not specifically developed for cancer patients but that were applied on cohorts of palliative cancer patients were also included. Conclusion: Tools developed for geriatric patients contain drugs that are not inappropriate when used in the palliative cancer care setting. Tools developed for cancer patients are more suitable and can be applied in combination with stepwise methods to individualize deprescribing per patient. The tools and guidelines described in this systematic review can be used to further implement deprescribing in the clinical routine for palliative cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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