Shared Care model helps reduce travel burdens for leukemia patients

Samantha Hershenfeld, a University of Toronto medical student, worked with nurse practitioner Mary Doherty to analyze the encouraging clinical data gathered through the Shared Care model of AML (acute myeloid leukemia) treatment at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.  The Shared Care model, which is a component of our Leukemia Outreach Program, enables patients to receive their consolidation chemotherapy for AML at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, but receive post-consolidation supportive care such as blood tests, transfusions, and treatment for febrile neutropenia at their local hospitals to help alleviate travel burdens. Consolidation chemotherapy is a crucial second round of chemotherapy that further assists in eradicating leukemic cells.

By receiving post-consolidation care locally, patients were able to save travel time (some very significantly), and, after analyzing the data, our clinicians found there was no significant difference in overall survival from those who received all of their care at The Princess Margaret.  The mortality rate of the two groups was no different even when taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, cyto-genetics prognosis, and whether they have AML or APL.  These results are encouraging and provides the evidence needed to consider expanding this model at centres across the country.

Watch an interview with Samantha conducted at a recent meeting of the American Society of Hematology.