Carcinoma of the cervix: patterns of care studies: review of 1978, 1983, and 1988-1989 surveys.
PURPOSE: A review of the Patterns of Care Studies Process Survey data on carcinoma of the cervix conducted on patients in 1978, 1983, and 1988-89 was carried out to identify changes or trends in the demographics, evaluation, and treatment that might have occurred over this time period. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patterns of Care Studies conducted surveys on patients treated by radiation therapy for cervical carcinoma in 1978, 1983, and 1988-89. These surveys have compiled demographic and treatment data on a total of 993 patients. There is outcome data for the 1978 and 1983 surveys, but not for the 1988-89 survey because follow-up has not been collected yet. The demographic and treatment delivery data on all three surveys has been reviewed and analyzed and is the subject of this study. RESULTS: There was no difference in the age distribution at the time of diagnosis of the patients in these surveys. The percentage of black patients remained constant in the three surveys, 19%, 17%, and 21%, respectively. The percentage of white patients was 76%, 78%, and 67%, but that of nonwhite/nonblack patients was 3%, 4%, and 12% (p < 0.001). The distribution of patients by stage was similar in the first two surveys. In the third survey, there was a decrease in the percentage of patients with Stage IA and IB (first = 35%; second = 38%; third = 29%) with a concurrent increase in Stage IIIA and IIIB patients (first = 20%; second = 18%; third = 26%). The surveys showed a major change in the pretreatment evaluation tests used. There was a progressive decrease in the use of intravenous pyelogram (IVP) (86 to 42%), barium enema (58 to 32%), cystoscopy for patients Stage IIB and higher (64 to 52%), and lymphangiography (18 to 14%). The use of abdominal or pelvic computed tomography dramatically increased from 6 to 70% between the first and third surveys. The use of 60Co units decreased from 35 to 2% from the first to the third survey [6 to 0% for short source-surface distance (SSD) 60Co units]. Point dose calculations for the intracavitary therapy increased from 78% in the 1978 survey to 95% in the third survey. As determined by the total dose delivered to the paracentral points, more patients (75.1%) were treated according to the Patterns of Care recommended guidelines in the 1988-89 survey than in the 1983 survey (63.6%). Chemotherapy was given to 12% of the patients undergoing radiation therapy during the period of the third survey, but these data are not available for the first and second surveys. CONCLUSION: Review of the Carcinoma of the Cervix Patterns of Care studies discloses significant changes in the demographics, patient evaluation, and radiation therapy techniques during the period of the studies. The potential impact of these changes on treatment outcome cannot be determined at this time until longterm follow-up for the 1988-89 survey is available, but improvements in the processes of care should lead to improvements in outcome.
Montana, GS; Hanlon, AL; Brickner, TJ; Owen, JB; Hanks, GE; Ling, CC; Komaki, R; Marcial, VA; Thomas, GM; Lanciano, R
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