Defining and Distinguishing Treatment Abandonment in Patients with Cancer

Meaghann S. Weaver, Scott C. Howard, Catherine G. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Cancer management requires accurate identification of the causes of treatment failure followed by cause-specific interventions. One cause of treatment failure that has received too little attention is abandonment of treatment. Abandonment includes 2 key elements: (1) failing to complete therapy for a disease that could be cured or definitively controlled, and (2) missing all treatment for a sustained time period to an extent that impacts the ability to cure or definitively control the disease. In this Historical Insight paper, we analyze historic and current terminology used to describe treatment abandonment in patients and provide a framework to distinguish it from nonadherence and loss to follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • abandonment
  • loss to follow-up
  • pediatric oncology
  • treatment abandonment
  • treatment completion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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