Our Oncology Department belongs to the Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañón, one of the largest hospitals in Spain. Patients can receive the most sophisticated anti-cancer therapies, participate in clinical trials or receive expert palliative care when a cure is not possible and end-of-life is near, as well as early palliative care in active oncology treatment when required.
The Oncology Department has its own building where multidisciplinary oncological activity is developed, including a day ward, hospitalisation ward, radiology, radiotherapy and surgery facilities. In the same building, we have an Oncology Day Hospital for outpatient treatment, an Investigation Unit, laboratories, Radiology, Radiotherapy, and an Outpatient Clinic (for oncology and palliative ambulatory patients).
Our Palliative Care Unit is one of the oldest in Spain, being almost 30 years old. The Palliative Care Ward was completely renovated and inaugurated in 2023, featuring 18 single beds specially designed for advanced care patients, especially in complex situations of uncontrolled symptoms or other unmet need. In our new building we have improved the privacy and comfort for patients, we now have 18 individual rooms, with availability of beds for caregivers.
Within the hospital there is constant communication among the different specialties involved in treatment from early diagnosis to provide the most advanced medical care and support to cancer patients and caregivers.
In order to provide the best treatment to each patient, we offer access to clinical trials, when appropriate, in addition to supportive treatment, early palliative care and specialised palliative symptom management. Through the Tumour Board, the Oncology Department receives information about new cancer cases diagnosed within our hospital, new cases are evaluated and multidisciplinary medical care is coordinated. This evaluation and multidisciplinary medical care is maintained throughout the different stages of the disease (surgery, radiotherapy, medical oncology treatments, clinical trials and palliative care).
The Palliative Care Unit receives requests to attend oncology patients from different sources, such as Tumour Board recommendations, outpatient oncology clinics, hospitalised patients, patients in different medical or surgical wards and patients in the emergency room.
Our Oncology Department is deeply committed to a philosophy of continuity of care and non-abandonment following a design to provide an integral care from diagnosis, cure (if possible), improving of quality and quantity of life, all the way through the treatment process and end-of-life stage. We are committed to advanced-cancer patients that no longer benefit from active anti-tumour therapies; we believe that they deserve specialised symptom management provided inside the oncology setting.
In recent years we have increased the support given to cancer patients during the oncology treatment through early palliative cancer management, providing support for the patients and the different professionals involved. A trained Palliative Support Team works inside the Oncology Department in close cooperation with other services and units. During 24-hour in-patient care, three oncologists are on duty (one senior and two residents) who attend hospitalised cancer patients, as well as those who need attention within the emergency room.
We have an outpatient clinic as part of the Palliative Care Unit where we enrol patients early to palliative medicine, including patients who are receiving active oncology treatments, working hand in hand with the oncologists, as well as patients in the last stages of the disease near end-of-life. This approach has been proven successful for cancer patients and, in recent years, our hospital has promoted and expanded this standard of palliative care to other severe non-oncology patients, such as terminal respiratory and/or heart failure, neurological conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and others.
Palliative and Supportive Care
We have seven physicians working full-time in the Palliative Care Unit, providing care to hospitalised patients, outpatients and the Palliative Care Support Team. When patients with palliative care needs are identified, especially when complex, they are referred to the Palliative Support Team to be evaluated; hospitalised palliative care is provided, as well as coordination with family doctors, ambulatory palliative care and emergency room support. In addition, we offer follow-up within our palliative out-patient clinic. We have reinforced our collaboration with the oncologists, not only at the final stages of the cancer disease, but by providing early palliative care to patients receiving active oncology treatment. We are able to provide high-quality supportive and palliative care under the responsibility and coverage of the Oncology Department, which collaborates with surgery, radiotherapy, psycho-oncology (two psychologist working full-time), social workers and rehabilitation.
Last update: January 2024