Travel distance and overall survival in hepatocellular cancer care

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Am J Surg. 2020 Dec 31:S0002-9610(20)30830-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.12.052. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Our objective was to assess the relationship between overall survival (OS) and distance travelled to the treating facility for patients undergoing liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma and to determine whether this relationship was dependent upon the structural factors of the treating facility.

METHODS: Using National Cancer Database, we focused on extremes of travel: Local (<12.5 miles to treating facility) and Travel (≥50 miles). We analyzed OS with Cox models; we estimated stratified models to assess interaction between distance and facility characteristics (volume, academic status).

RESULTS: We included 6860 patients. After correction for confounding, distance travelled was not associated with OS (p = 0.444). However, Travel patients treated at high-volume, academic centers had worse OS compared to Local patients (HR 1.54, 95%CI 1.07-2.21); this association was not seen for patients treated at low volume, academic centers (p = 0.708) high volume non-academic centers (p = 0.174) or low volume non-academic centers (p = 515).

CONCLUSION: For those patients treated at high-volume, academic centers, living far from the facility was associated with worse OS. The reasons for this association should be investigated further.

PMID:33413878 | DOI:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.12.052