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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.

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Nicola Fossati, Daniel P. Nguyen, Quoc-Dien Trinh, Jesse Sammon, Akshay Sood, Alessandro Larcher, Giorgio Guazzoni, Francesco Montorsi, Alberto Briganti, Mani Menon and Firas Abdollah

Background: Approximately 15% of the US population does not have health insurance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of insurance status on tumor characteristics and treatment selection in patients with prostate cancer. Materials and Methods: We identified 20,393 patients younger than 65 years with prostate cancer in the 2010–2011 SEER database. Multivariable logistic regression analysis tested the relationship between insurance status and 2 end points: (1) presenting with low-risk prostate cancer at diagnosis and (2) receiving local treatment of the prostate. Locally weighted scatterplot smoothing methods were used to graphically explore the interaction among insurance status, use of local treatment, and baseline risk of cancer recurrence. The latter was defined using the Stephenson nomogram and CAPRA score. Results: Overall, 18,993 patients (93%) were insured, 849 (4.2%) had Medicaid coverage, and 551 (2.7%) were uninsured. At multivariable analysis, Medicaid coverage (odds ratio [OR], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.57, 0.80; P<.0001) and uninsured status (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.46, 0.71; P<.0001) were independent predictors of a lower probability of presenting with low-risk disease. Likewise, Medicaid coverage (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.60, 0.86; P=.0003) and uninsured status (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.37, 0.55; P<.0001) were independent predictors of a lower probability of receiving local treatment. In uninsured patients, treatment disparities became more pronounced as the baseline cancer recurrence risk increased (10% in low-risk patients vs 20% in high-risk patients). Conclusions: Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients are diagnosed with higher-risk disease and are undertreated. The latter is more accentuated for patients with high-risk prostate cancer. This may seriously compromise the survival of these individuals.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.