Founded at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Cancer Care @ Home

COVID-19 Cancer care at home

Each year, about 1.8 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. Historically, nearly all life-extending cancer treatment has been delivered in outpatient or hospital settings. Within a year of diagnosis, three-quarters of those with advanced cancer end up in the hospital; one in six are hospitalized three or more times. And nearly all chemotherapy is delivered in physician offices or outpatient clinics.

Internationally, giving cancer drugs at home has been done safely and effectively across various patient populations and treatment regimens. But it’s uncommon in the U.S.

In late 2019, the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation brought together a multidisciplinary team of experts to explore if home cancer treatment could, for appropriate drugs and patient populations, take the place of inpatient or outpatient administration.

We launched Cancer Care @ Home in February 2020. During the first month of the program, we referred 39 patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma to receive 7 different cancer treatments at home. When stay-at-home orders were issued in March 2020, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were prepared and scaled the program nearly 700% in one month.

In the first six months of the program, nearly 500 patients were referred to receive 13 different cancer drugs at home through the Cancer Care @ Home program, with high levels of patient and provider satisfaction. For certain treatments and patient populations, cancer treatment at home is now the standard of care at Penn Medicine. Nearly 3,000 Penn Medicine patients receive cancer care in the comfort of their own homes annually.

Callie Scott, MSc; Amy Iarrobino Laughlin, MD; Justin Bekelman, MD; Cassandra Redmond, PharmD, MBA; Katherine Major, MSN, RN, CPHN; Mary Denno, MSN, RN; Sandra Jost, MSN, RN; Sarah Johnson, MBA; Joan Doyle, RN, MSN, MBA; Lindsey Zinck, RN, MSN, OCN; Pat Higgins, MHA; Jenn Braun, MHA, BSN, RN; Larry Shulman, MD; David Miller, MBA; Bob Vonderheide, MD, DPhil; Lynn Schuchter, MD; Suzanne McGettigan, MSN, CRNP, AOCN; Dan Landsburg, MD; Roger Cohen, MD; David Vaughn, MD; Donna Capozzi, PharmD; Lu Ann Brady, MS; Neil Crimins, MBA; Robert Tobin; Roy Schwartz, MBA; Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP; Michael Begley, MA; and Tim Delaney, BA.

Penn Medicine at Home, Abramson Cancer Center, the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and the Penn Center for Health Care Innovation.

Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation and the Penn Center for Health Care Innovation.

No Place Like Home, Penn Medicine News
Home Infusion Therapy Market To Witness An Explosive CAGR of 7.9% Till 2030, Based on Rising Prevalence of Cancer, Diabetes And Cardiovascular Diseases, Digital Journal
Chemo at Home: High Rate of Satisfaction, Low Rate of Discontinuation, Cancer Therapy Advisor
Home Infusion Trend Stirs Debate, OncLive
‘We Now Need to be More Amazon-Like’: Area health systems are taking a page out of the e-commerce playbook as they embrace the hospital-at-home model to deliver care to patients where they live, Philadelphia Business Journal
Chasing Cancer with Otis Brawley, MD & Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, Washington Post
At-Home Cancer Treatment: Risks and Rewards, Medscape
Community Oncologists Balk at Home Chemo’s Financial Effects, Medscape
In the UK, ‘Chemobus’ Units Bring Cancer Treatment Close to Home, Medscape
Despite Skeptics, At-Home Chemo Programs Continue Growing, Medscape
Charity and Social Datebook 2021, featuring Dr. Robert Herman Vonderheide, Philadelphia Style Magazine
Hito contra el cáncer: Quimioterapia en el hogar, incluso si viajas, Chicago Tribune
The How-to of Home Infusions, Oncology Nursing Podcast
Cancer treatment tackles a new frontier: Chemo at home, even on the go, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Cancer Care at Home, American Cancer Society TheoryLab podcast
Breast Cancer in the Time of Coronavirus, O, The Oprah Magazine
Has the Time for At-Home Cancer Care Finally Come?, Cancer Therapy Advisor
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Propelling the Delivery of Home Care for Patients With Cancer, The ASCO Post
Coronavirus threat spurs movement of cancer care into homes, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Penn, Jefferson expand at-home cancer treatments during COVID-19 pandemic, WHYY
Cancer Treatment at Home is Safe, Effective, and Closer to Happening Than You Think, STAT News

Clinical Transformation

Related Publications

Transforming Cancer Care

Learn More right facing arrow