Oreofe O. Odejide, MD, MPH

2016 DICP Faculty Fellowship Recipient

Oreofe O. Odejide, MD, MPH Instructor, Harvard Medical School; Department of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Oreofe O. Odejide

Mentor: Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Harvard Medical School, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Division Chief: Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Division of Population Sciences, Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology, Department of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Project Title: “Understanding and Improving End-of-Life Discussions for Blood Cancers”

Project Description:

Patients with hematologic cancers are more likely to receive intensive cancer-directed care near death and less likely to enroll in hospice compared to those with solid tumors. Rich and timely end-of-life (EOL) discussions are known to help assure that patients receive EOL care that is consistent with their preferences. Moreover, in a large national survey of US-based hematologic oncologists that we conducted (n=349), the majority (56%) reported that EOL discussions occur “too late.” These data suggest that if we can improve rates of timely EOL discussions for patients with blood cancers, we will be able to improve their care at the EOL.

We propose to study EOL discussions for patients with blood cancers and pilot a physician-targeted intervention to improve these discussions. First, we will determine the prevalence, predictors, and impact of EOL discussions on medical outcomes (intensiveness of cancer-directed care and hospice use) in a cohort of hematologic malignancy decedents. Second, we will pilot a physician-targeted intervention to promote timely EOL discussions for a cohort of patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and compare rates of EOL discussions in the intervention cohort to a historical cohort.

Our study will characterize factors that may render individuals with blood cancers less likely to have timely EOL discussions and identify those groups most in need of intervention. Finally, findings from our pilot will provide preliminary efficacy data that would serve as an important step in addressing the specific EOL needs of this largely understudied population.


Oreofe Odejide, MD, MPH is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a Hematologic Oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Odejide graduated with distinction from Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare Program. She also obtained a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in Clinical Effectiveness. Dr. Odejide’s research efforts are focused on understanding and improving quality of care for patients with hematologic cancers throughout the disease continuum – from diagnosis to the end-of-life (EOL) phase. She was the recipient of an American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award, with which she conducted a qualitative study of hematologic oncologists to characterize perceptions and decision-making processes regarding EOL care. With funding from the Lymphoma Research Foundation, she then developed and conducted a large national survey of hematologic oncologists to identify barriers to quality EOL care, as well as potential interventions for improvement. The Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership Faculty Fellowship Award will give Dr. Odejide the opportunity to expand her research to develop and test interventions to improve quality of EOL care for patients with hematologic cancers.