Patients with advanced cancer experiencing breathlessness derived benefit from several non-pharmacologic interventions such as fan therapy and bilevel ventilation, researchers reported.
The condition is traditionally treated with medications like opioids or benzodiazepines, although there have been few studies showing their effectiveness in this context, noted Arjun Gupta, MD, of Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and colleagues.
For their new study, a systematic review published online in JAMA Oncology, the team evaluated 29 randomized clinical trials involving 2,423 adults with advanced cancer.
“Patients with advanced cancer who experience breathlessness are often vulnerable with limited time to recover. The harms of an intervention should not outweigh the benefit,” Gupta told MedPage Today.