Cancer patients comprise about 15-20% of all patients admitted into Intensive Care Units (Bos et al. 2015; Shimalbukuro-Vornhagen et al. 2016); Approximately 50% of these admissions are due to surgical procedures, while the other 50% is related to medical causes, with only 3.3% corresponding to specific causes of oncological disease (Puxty et al. 2015).
Only a few years ago, the intensive care unit’s (ICU) mortality of critically ill cancer patients was unacceptably high, especially for those requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. However, with the evidence-based intensive care unit admission criteria, general improvements in the management of organ dysfunctions, advances in the diagnosis and treatment of specific complications, as well as new therapeutic options for cancer and infections, it is foreseeable that the number of cancer patients requiring admission to ICU will continue to increase in the coming years, constituting a field of compulsory continuous training for intensivists.
ICU survivors will regain favourable quality-of-life, return to a state in which the continuation of anticancer therapy is feasible, and that their long-term survival as well as their haematologic and oncologic outcome may not be different from cancer patients who were never admitted to the ICU.
A general reluctance to admit critically ill cancer patients to the ICU cannot be justified anymore.
Critical care has become an important cornerstone in the continuum of modern cancer care.
The optimal management of critically ill patients with cancer necessitates expertise in oncology, critical care, and palliative medicine. The interdisciplinary management of these patients is crucial in order to accurately identify patients who benefit from transfer to the ICU and to optimise treatment of these vulnerable patients in often complex situations.
We are moving towards an individualised and dynamic treatment that will be adapted to the type of tumour and the patient's immune response. The prognosis of the critical cancer patient is time-dependent and therefore ICU intensivists must face the challenge of making a good selection of patients with early admission and effective diagnosis and treatment.
This meeting will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in the individualised management of critically ill patients with cancer and will be a platform for discussion on the best practices in the field.
Registration is free but limited to the number of seats available in the Champalimaud Foundation auditorium.
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