Cervical cancer practice patterns and appropriateness of therapy

Elizabeth Howell, Ya Ting Chen, Mark Moradi, John Concato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken (1) to describe practice patterns for treatment of cervical cancer on a national scale, including patient characteristics associated with receiving appropriate versus inappropriate therapy, and (2) to determine whether mortality rate differences exist between patients who were treated appropriately and those who were treated inappropriately. STUDY DESIGN: We defined treatment appropriateness in cases of cervical cancer according to general recommendations for therapy for each International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage. In an analysis of data obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program for 1988 through 1994 we determined the associations of patient demographic characteristics and tumor characteristics with treatment appropriateness. The association between treatment appropriateness and overall mortality for as long as 7 years of follow-up was adjusted for age; marital status; Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program location; International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage of disease; lymph node status; tumor grade; and histologic classification. RESULTS: Overall 90% of all patients were found to have received appropriate therapy. Important variables significantly associated with being treated inappropriately versus appropriately included age <40 years, positive nodal status, and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IB disease. Important variables significantly associated with receiving no therapy versus receiving appropriate therapy were age ≥60 years, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IV disease, positive nodal status, and unknown nodal status. In a comprehensive model that included demographic factors and tumor characteristics, the adjusted hazard ratio for mortality among patients who were treated inappropriately versus appropriately was 0.87 (95% confidence interval, 0.70-1.09). The adjusted hazard ratio for mortality among patients who did not receive therapy versus those who were treated appropriately was 2.92 (95% confidence interval, 2.44-3.48). CONCLUSIONS: In an analysis of data from a tumor registry, cervical cancer practice patterns were generally found to follow accepted treatment guidelines. Appropriateness of therapy did not vary widely according to demographic variables. Although patients who received no therapy had an elevated risk of death with respect to that of patients who were treated appropriately, patients who were treated inappropriately had a mortality rate similar to that among those who were treated appropriately (perhaps because of limitations in Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program data). Results of this preliminary study suggest a need for further research on effectiveness of cervical cancer therapies in the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-413
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume183
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Cervical cancer
  • Guidelines
  • Treatment appropriateness

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