Comparison of anal cancer outcomes in public and private hospital patients treated at a single radiation oncology center
Objective: To compare clinical and treatment characteristics and outcomes in locally advanced anal cancer, a potentially curable disease, in patients referred from a public or private hospital. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 112 anal cancer patients from a public and a private hospital who received definitive chemoradiotherapy at the same cancer center between 2004 and 2013. Tumor stage, radiotherapy delay, radiotherapy duration, and unplanned treatment breaks ≥10 days were compared using t-test and χ2 test. Overall survival (OS), disease free survival (DFS), and colostomy free survival (CFS) were examined using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test. Cox proportional hazard models for OS and DFS were developed. Results: The follow-up was 14.9 months (range, 0.7-94.8 months). Public hospital patients presented with significantly higher clinical T stage (P<0.05) and clinical stage group (P<0.05), had significantly longer radiotherapy delays (P<0.05) and radiotherapy duration (P<0.05), and had more frequent radiation therapy (RT) breaks ≥10 days (P<0.05). Three-year OS showed a marked trend in favor of private hospital patients for 3-year OS (72.8% vs. 48.9%; P=0.171), 3-year DFS (66.3% vs. 42.7%, P=0.352), and 3-year CFS (86.4% vs. 68.9%, P=0.299). Referral hospital was not predictive of OS or DFS on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Public hospital patients presented at later stage and experienced more delays in initiating and completing radiotherapy, which may contribute to the trend in poorer DFS and OS. These findings emphasize the need for identifying clinical and treatment factors that contribute to decreased survival in low socioeconomic status (SES) populations.
Bitterman, DS; Grew, D; Gu, P; Cohen, RF; Sanfilippo, NJ; Leichman, CG; Leichman, LP; Moore, HG; Gold, HT; Du, KL
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