Advances in Palliative Care and the CORE Program at Mass General Cancer Center
In This Video
- Areej El-Jawahri, MD, is an oncologist specializing in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- She is an active member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE)
- Her research program is focused on improving the quality of life and health care delivery for patients with hematological malignancies by developing and testing supportive care interventions
Areej El-Jawahri, MD, an oncologist in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center who specializes in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, discusses palliative care and the Mass General Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE).
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As an oncologist caring for patients with hematological malignancies, I specialize in particular treatments, stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy for patients with hematological malignancies. These are treatments that are potentially curative for this population. My research program is focused on improving the quality of life and health care delivery for patients with hematological malignancies, specifically by developing and testing supportive care interventions to improve the quality of life and care for this population. The Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program, or CORE Program, at Mass General is a team of clinician-scientists, basically oncologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, palliative care clinicians, all have a very particular mission, which is to really improve the quality of life of patients with cancer throughout the continuum of cancer care by really developing and testing various interventions that can improve care delivery, improve symptom burden, reduce distress during the cancer journey for patients and families.
Palliative care is a medical specialty that specializes in improving the quality of life, reducing symptoms and helping patients with serious illness cope most effectively with a very difficult illness course. It's important to say that palliative care is appropriate for patients at any age or any stage of their serious illness, including patients with cancer who are newly diagnosed with cancer, because the focus of the specialties is really to improve symptoms and improve the lived experience of patients with cancer and help these patients and families cope with a very stressful time.
We here at Mass General have really developed a research platform that is focused on integrating palliative care early in illness course for patients with solid tumors and those with hematological malignancies. Our research has shown that integrating and involving palliative care clinicians in the care of patients with cancer early in the illness course can really improve patient-reported outcomes including quality-of-life, symptom burden, reduce distress, and help patients cope most effectively with their illness and help their families also cope most effectively with the cancer diagnosis. So our work is really focused on how to provide palliative care early in the course of illness as a way to provide an extra layer of support for patients and families as they face this difficult diagnosis.
We are an incredibly transdisciplinary team. We work very closely with our colleagues in palliative care, in psychology, we are a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and we all work collectively with one mission in mind… to improve the experience… the lived experience… of our patients with cancer and their caregivers. So my day today includes a lot of collaboration with a lot of my colleagues to provide the best absolute-based cancer care for our patients.
Learn more about the Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE)
Refer a patient to the Mass General Cancer Center