Patterns of Care for Men with Prostate Cancer After Failure of Primary Treatment

Published in: Cancer, v. 107, no. 2, July 15, 2006, p. 258-265

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Tracey L. Krupski, Christopher S. Saigal, Janet M. Hanley, Matthias Schonlau, Mark Litwin

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BACKGROUND: This study sought to determine trends in patterns of care after failure of primary prostate cancer treatment and to determine whether nonclinical factors influenced the receipt of secondary treatment. METHODS: The authors identified individuals treated for nonmetastatic prostate cancer in the years 1991-1999 from the linked databases of Medicare and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry. The outcome of interest was receipt of secondary therapy. They performed Cox proportional hazard analyses to investigate the link between demographic and clinical characteristics and the likelihood of receiving secondary treatment after either surgery or radiation. RESULTS: Of 65,716 subjects who met our inclusion criteria, 10,200 (15%) received some form of secondary therapy. For men undergoing initial surgical or radiation therapy, tumor grade, year of diagnosis, and geographic region were associated with secondary therapy. No socioeconomic factors such as education, ethnicity, or income level were associated with secondary therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Patterns of care after primary prostate cancer therapy continue to vary regionally. Standardized clinical algorithms and utilization of prostate-specific antigen testing appear to have influenced secondary therapy rates.

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