Background: Evidence-based consensus guidelines recommend only observation for men with low-risk prostate cancer and life expectancy less than 10 years. This report describes the incidence, drivers, cost, and morbidity of overtreatment of low-risk prostate cancer within the United States. Methods: The SEER-Medicare Program was used to identify 11,744 men aged 66 years or older diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer in 2004 through 2007. Overtreatment of prostate cancer was defined as definitive treatment of a patient with a life expectancy of less than 10 years. Expected survival was estimated using NCCN methodology. Costs were the amount paid by Medicare in years after minus year before diagnosis. Toxicities were relevant Medicare diagnoses/interventions. P values are 2-sided. Results: Of 3001 men with low-risk prostate cancer and a life expectancy of less than 10 years, 2011 men (67%) were overtreated. On multivariable logistic regression, overtreated men were more likely to be married (odds ratio [OR], 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05–1.59; P=.02), reside in affluent regions (P<.001), and harbor more advanced disease at diagnosis (P<.001). Two-year toxicity was greater in overtreated patients (P<.001). Relative to active surveillance/watchful waiting/observation, the median additional cost per definitive treatment was $18,827 over 5 years; the cumulative annual cost attributable to overtreatment in the United States was $58.7 million. The ability to avoid treating the 80% of men with low-grade disease who will never die of prostate cancer would save $1.32 billion per year nationally. Conclusions: Overtreatment of low-risk prostate cancer is partially driven by sociodemographic factors and occurs frequently, with marked impact on patient quality of life and health-related costs.
Ayal A. Aizer, Xiangmei Gu, Ming-Hui Chen, Toni K. Choueiri, Neil E. Martin, Jason A. Efstathiou, Andrew S. Hyatt, Powell L. Graham, Quoc-Dien Trinh, Jim C. Hu, and Paul L. Nguyen
Edward Christopher Dee, Vinayak Muralidhar, Santino S. Butler, Zizi Yu, Sybil T. Sha, Brandon A. Mahal, Paul L. Nguyen, and Nina N. Sanford
Background: A significant proportion of cancer survivors endorse ongoing health information needs and may use the internet to access information. We assessed patterns and predictors of general and health-specific internet use among cancer survivors. Methods: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which was administered in 2013 through 2018, for adults reporting a cancer diagnosis, sample weight-adjusted estimates defined prevalence and multivariable logistic regressions defined adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of general and health-specific internet use, adjusting for relevant sociodemographic covariates, including healthcare satisfaction as the primary independent variable. The analysis for health-specific internet use was also repeated including a sex (female vs male)*healthcare satisfaction (very satisfied/somewhat satisfied vs somewhat dissatisfied/very dissatisfied) interaction term. Results: Among 12,970 survivors of cancer, general and health-specific internet use increased from 2013 to 2018 (from 63.2% to 70.8% and from 46.8% to 52.2%, respectively; P<.05 for both). Survivors who were very dissatisfied with healthcare were more likely to use the internet for health information compared with those who were very satisfied (59.5% vs 48.0%; aOR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.20–2.64; P=.004). Younger age, female sex, higher educational attainment, and higher socioeconomic status were all associated with increased reported use of the internet for both general and health-specific purposes (P<.001 for all). There was a significant sex*healthcare satisfaction interaction (P=.009) such that for female survivors, healthcare dissatisfaction was associated with higher odds of health-specific internet use (61.4% vs 52.5%; P<.001; men, P=.97). No association was found between healthcare satisfaction and general internet use (P=.42). Conclusions: The increasing proportion of survivors of cancer using the internet for health-specific information may be associated with self-reported dissatisfaction with healthcare. Efforts are needed to improve both access to the internet and the quality of cancer-relevant online health information, and to enhance patients’ online health literacy.
Vinayak Muralidhar, Paul L. Nguyen, Brandon A. Mahal, David D. Yang, Kent W. Mouw, Brent S. Rose, Clair J. Beard, Jason A. Efstathiou, Neil E. Martin, Martin T. King, and Peter F. Orio III
Background: Management of patients with a very high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level (≥98.0 ng/mL) but clinically localized (N0M0) prostate cancer is challenging. This study sought to determine practice patterns and outcomes among these patients. Patients and Methods: A total of 748,825 patients with prostate cancer from 2004 through 2012 were identified using the National Cancer Database. These patients were subdivided by PSA level (0–9.9, 10.0–19.9, 20.0–39.9, 40.0–59.9, 60.0–79.9, 80.0–97.9, and ≥98.0 ng/mL), nodal status (N0 vs N1), and distant metastases (M0 vs M1). Rates of locoregional treatment and 5-year overall survival (OS) in each group were determined. Survival was compared using Cox regression after adjusting for multiple patient-specific factors. Results: The rate of locoregional treatment for patients with N0M0 disease and PSA level ≥98.0 ng/mL was significantly lower than for those with N1M0 disease (52.6% vs 60.4%; P<.001) or N0M0 disease and PSA level <98.0 ng/mL (52.6% vs 86.6%; P<.001). The 5-year OS rate was similar for patients with N1M0 disease and those with N0M0 disease and a very high PSA level (63.2% vs 59.1%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.91; P=.063). The survival benefit associated with locoregional treatment was higher among those with N0M0 disease and a very high PSA level than among those with N1M0 disease (aHR, 0.28 vs 0.44; P<.001). Conclusions: Patients with clinical N0M0 disease and a very high PSA level (≥98.0 ng/mL) have outcomes similar to those with N1 disease but receive locoregional treatment at a lower rate. Future work is needed to investigate the utility of locoregional treatment in this population.
Firas Abdollah, Jesse D. Sammon, Kaustav Majumder, Gally Reznor, Giorgio Gandaglia, Akshay Sood, Nathanael Hevelone, Adam S. Kibel, Paul L. Nguyen, Toni K. Choueiri, Kathy J. Selvaggi, Mani Menon, and Quoc-Dien Trinh
Objective: To examine racial disparities in end-of-life (EOL) care among black and white patients dying of prostate cancer (PCa). Methods: Relying on the SEER-Medicare database, 3789 patients who died of metastatic PCa between 1999 and 2009 were identified. Information was assessed regarding diagnostic care, therapeutic interventions, hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and emergency department visits in the last 12 months, 3 months, and 1 month of life. Logistic regression tested the relationship between race and the receipt of diagnostic care, therapeutic interventions, and high-intensity EOL care. Results: Overall, 729 patients (19.24%) were black. In the 12-months preceding death, laboratory tests (odds ratio [OR], 0.51; 95% CI, 0.36–0.72), prostate-specific antigen test (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.43–0.67), cystourethroscopy (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.56–0.90), imaging procedure (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41–0.81), hormonal therapy (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.44–0.65), chemotherapy (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.48–0.72), radiotherapy (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.61–0.90), and office visit (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.28–0.50) were less frequent in black versus white patients. Conversely, high-intensity EOL care, such as ICU admission (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.04–1.58), inpatient admission (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.09–2.05), and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (OR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.40–2.11), was more frequent in black versus white patients. Similar trends for EOL care were observed at 3-month and 1-month end points. Conclusions: Although diagnostic and therapeutic interventions are less frequent in black patients with end-stage PCa, the rate of high-intensity and aggressive EOL care is higher in these individuals. These disparities may indicate that race plays an important role in the quality of care for men with end-stage PCa.
Vinayak Muralidhar, Paul J. Catalano, Gally Reznor, Brandon A. Mahal, Toni K. Choueiri, Christopher J. Sweeney, Neil E. Martin, Clair J. Beard, Yu-Wei Chen, Michelle D. Nezolosky, Karen E. Hoffman, Felix Y. Feng, Quoc-Dien Trinh, and Paul L. Nguyen
Background: The current NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Prostate Cancer recommend long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for all men with high-risk prostate cancer treated with external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT). We determined whether the use of long-term ADT varied by the recently defined subcategories of high-risk disease (favorable, other, and very high) versus unfavorable intermediate-risk disease. Methods: We identified 5,524 patients with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer diagnosed from 2004 to 2007 and managed with EBRT using the SEER-Medicare linked database. Patients were stratified by risk group: unfavorable intermediate-risk, favorable high-risk (previously defined and validated as clinical stage T1c, Gleason score of 4 + 4 = 8, and prostate-specific antigen [PSA] level <10 ng/mL, or clinical stage T1c, Gleason score of 6, and PSA level >20 ng/mL), very-high-risk (clinical stage T3b–T4 or primary Gleason pattern 5), or other high risk (ie, neither favorable nor very high). We used multivariable competing risks regression to estimate the rates of long-term (≥2 years) ADT by group. Results: Men with favorable high-risk prostate cancer were significantly less likely to receive long-term ADT than those with other high-risk disease (15.4% vs 24.6%, adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.60–0.76; P<.001), and similarly likely as those with unfavorable intermediate-risk disease (AHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.99–1.23; P=.087). Other high-risk disease was less likely to receive long-term ADT than very high-risk cancer (24.6% vs 30.8%; AHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74–0.93; P=.002). Conclusions: Despite current guidelines, patients with EBRT-managed high-risk prostate cancer received significantly different rates of long-course ADT based on subclassification. Our results suggest that oncologists view these patients as a heterogeneous group with favorable high-risk cancer warranting less aggressive therapy than other high-risk or very high-risk disease.
Ayal A. Aizer, Jonathan J. Paly, Anthony L. Zietman, Paul L. Nguyen, Clair J. Beard, Sandhya K. Rao, Irving D. Kaplan, Andrzej Niemierko, Michelle S. Hirsch, Chin-Lee Wu, Aria F. Olumi, M. Dror Michaelson, Anthony V. D’Amico, and Jason A. Efstathiou
NCCN Guidelines recommend active surveillance as the primary management option for patients with very-low-risk prostate cancer and an expected survival of less than 20 years, reflecting the favorable prognosis of these men and the lack of perceived benefit of immediate, definitive treatment. The authors hypothesized that care at a multidisciplinary clinic, where multiple physicians have an opportunity to simultaneously review and discuss each case, is associated with increased rates of active surveillance in men with very-low-risk prostate cancer, including those with limited life expectancy. Of 630 patients with low-risk prostate cancer managed at 1 of 3 tertiary care centers in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009, 274 (43.5%) had very-low-risk classification. Patients were either seen by 1 or more individual practitioners in sequential settings or at a multidisciplinary clinic, in which concurrent consultation with 2 or more of the following specialties was obtained: urology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Patients seen at a multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinic were more likely to select active surveillance than those seen by individual practitioners (64% vs 30%; P<.001), an association that remained significant on multivariable logistic regression (odds ratio [OR], 4.16; P<.001). When the analysis was limited to patients with an expected survival of less than 20 years, this association remained highly significant (72% vs 34%, P<.001; OR, 5.19; P<.001, respectively). Multidisciplinary care is strongly associated with selection of active surveillance, adherence to NCCN Guidelines and minimization of overtreatment in patients with very-low-risk prostate cancer.
Alexander P. Cole, Chang Lu, Marieke J. Krimphove, Julie Szymaniak, Maxine Sun, Sean A. Fletcher, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Brandon A. Mahal, Paul L. Nguyen, Toni K. Choueiri, Adam S. Kibel, Adil H. Haider, and Quoc-Dien Trinh
Background: Insurance coverage is associated with better cancer outcomes; however, the relative importance of insurance coverage may differ between cancers. This study compared the association between insurance coverage at diagnosis and cancer-specific mortality (CSM; insurance sensitivity) in 6 cancers. Patients and Methods: Using the SEER cancer registry, data were abstracted for individuals diagnosed with ovarian, pancreatic, lung, colorectal, prostate, or breast cancer in 2007 through 2010. The association between insurance coverage at diagnosis and CSM was modeled using a Fine and Gray competing-risks regression adjusted for demographics. An interaction term combining insurance status and cancer type was used to test whether insurance sensitivity differed between cancers. Separate models were fit for each cancer. To control for lead-time bias and to assess whether insurance sensitivity may be mediated by earlier diagnosis and treatment, additional models were fit adjusting for disease stage and treatment. Results: Lack of insurance was associated with an increased hazard of CSM in all cancers (P<.01). The magnitude of the effect differed significantly between cancers (P interaction=.04), ranging from an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.13 (95% CI, 1.01–1.28) in ovarian and 1.19 (95% CI, 1.11–1.29) in pancreatic cancer to 2.19 (95% CI, 2.02–2.37) in breast and 2.98 (95% CI, 2.54–3.49) in prostate cancer. The benefit of insurance was attenuated after adjusting for stage and treatment (eg, screening/early treatment effect), with the largest reductions in prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. Conclusions: Greater insurance sensitivity was seen in screening-detected malignancies with effective treatments for early-stage disease (eg, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers). Given that this differential is significantly reduced after adjusting for stage and treatment, our results suggest that a significant portion (but not all) of the benefit of insurance coverage is due to detection and treatment of certain curable early-stage cancers.