Patterns and Impact of Fragmented Care in Stage II and III Gastric Cancer.
BACKGROUND: Optimal management of stage II/III gastric cancer requires multidisciplinary care, often necessitating treatment at more than one facility. We aimed to determine patterns of "fragmented" care and its impact on outcomes, including concordance with National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines and overall survival. METHODS: The 2006-2016 National Cancer Database was queried for patients with clinical stage II/III gastric adenocarcinoma who received preoperative therapy in addition to surgery. Patients were stratified based on whether surgery and chemotherapy/chemoradiation were performed at one versus multiple facilities (termed "coordinated" and "fragmented" care, respectively). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with fragmented care. Survival was compared using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards methods. RESULTS: Overall, 2033 patients met study criteria: 1043 (51.3%) received coordinated care and 990 (48.7%) fragmented care. There was no significant difference in time to surgery or pathologic upstaging by care structure. On adjusted analysis, factors associated with receipt of fragmented care included increasing age and distance traveled to the treating facility. Factors associated with coordinated care included metropolitan residence and treatment at academic and high-volume centers. Fragmented care was associated with a reduction in guideline-preferred perioperative chemotherapy (odds ratio [OR] 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.63-0.97, p = 0.02) and increased mortality (HR 1.16, 95% CI 1.00-1.34, p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: For patients with stage II/III gastric cancer, fragmented care is associated with inferior outcomes, including a reduction in preferred perioperative treatment and survival. Further work is needed to ensure equitable outcomes among patients as complex cancer care becomes more regionalized.
Rhodin, KE; Raman, V; Eckhoff, A; Liu, A; Creasy, J; Nussbaum, DP; Blazer, DG
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