Treatment Patterns and Differences in Survival of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Between Academic and Non-Academic Hospitals in the Netherlands.

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Journal Article
Clinical Lung Cancer, 2017, 18 (5), pp. e341 - e347
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BACKGROUND: The aims of this study are to analyze differences in survival between academic and non-academic hospitals and to provide insight into treatment patterns for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results show the state of NSCLC survival and care in the Netherlands. METHODS: The Netherlands Cancer Registry provided data on NSCLC survival for all Dutch hospitals. We used the Kaplan-Meier estimate to calculate median survival time by hospital type and a Cox proportional hazards model to estimate the relative risk of mortality (expressed as hazard ratios) for patients diagnosed in academic versus non-academic hospitals, with adjustment for age, gender, and tumor histology, and stratifying for disease stage. Data on treatment patterns in Dutch hospitals was obtained from 4 hospitals (2 academic, 2 non-academic). A random sample of patients diagnosed with NSCLC from January 2009 until January 2011 was identified through hospital databases. Data was obtained on patient characteristics, tumor characteristics, and treatments. RESULTS: The Cox proportional hazards model shows a significantly decreased hazard ratio of mortality for patients diagnosed in academic hospitals, as opposed to patients diagnosed in non-academic hospitals. This is specifically true for primary radiotherapy patients and patients who receive systemic treatment for non-metastasized NSCLC. CONCLUSION: Patients diagnosed in academic hospitals have better median overall survival than patients diagnosed in non-academic hospitals, especially for patients treated with radiotherapy, systemic treatment, or combinations. This difference may be caused by residual confounding since the estimates were not adjusted for performance status. A wide variety of surgical, radiotherapeutic, and systemic treatments is prescribed.
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