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June 9, 2010

Palliative Care at US Cancer Centers—Reply

JAMA. 2010;303(22):2251. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.734

In Reply: Given that more patients die of nonmalignant diseases than of cancer,1 we agree with Dr Weems that it is important to further develop the discipline of palliative care for other life-threatening diseases. Cancer has traditionally been the main disease model for palliative care because of its high prevalence, the relatively predictable disease trajectory, and the significant physical and psychosocial symptom burden among oncology patients. However, our survey highlighted that there remain significant gaps in the delivery of palliative care even among cancer centers.