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Ruben G.W. Quek, Kevin C. Ward, Viraj A. Master, Chun Chieh Lin, Kenneth M. Portier, Katherine S. Virgo, and Joseph Lipscomb

Background: Physicians managing patients with prostate cancer play a critical role in subsequent specialist consultations and initial treatment choice, especially in cases for which no consensus exists regarding optimal treatment strategy. The NCCN Guidelines for Prostate Cancer recommend radiation as a therapy option for patients with locoregional prostate cancer. Purpose: The authors examined the association of urologist characteristics with the likelihood that patients would consult radiation oncologists. Methods: A retrospective cohort of 39,934 patients aged 66 years or older who were diagnosed with locoregional prostate cancer between 2004 and 2007, and the 2405 urologists who performed the patient diagnostic biopsies were constructed using the SEER-Medicare linked database and the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. Logistic multilevel regression analysis was used to evaluate the influence of urologists’ characteristics on radiation oncologist consultation within 9 months of locoregional prostate cancer diagnosis. Results: Overall, 24,549 (61.5%) patients consulted a radiation oncologist. After adjusting for patient and urologist characteristics, patients diagnosed by urologists in noninstitutional settings (eg, physician office) were significantly more likely to consult a radiation oncologist (odds ratio [OR], 1.40; 95% CI, 1.17–1.67; P=.0002) compared with those diagnosed by urologists in institutional settings with a major medical school affiliation. In addition, patients diagnosed by urologists older than 57 years were significantly more likely to consult a radiation oncologist (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.07–1.38, P=.003).

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Mary Katherine Montes de Oca, Lauren E. Wilson, Rebecca A. Previs, Anjali Gupta, Ashwini Joshi, Bin Huang, Maria Pisu, Margaret Liang, Kevin C. Ward, Maria J. Schymura, Andrew Berchuck, and Tomi F. Akinyemiju

Background: Racial disparities exist in receipt of guideline-concordant treatment of ovarian cancer (OC). However, few studies have evaluated how various dimensions of healthcare access (HCA) contribute to these disparities. Methods: We analyzed data from non-Hispanic (NH)–Black, Hispanic, and NH-White patients with OC diagnosed in 2008 to 2015 from the SEER-Medicare database and defined HCA dimensions as affordability, availability, and accessibility, measured as aggregate scores created with factor analysis. Receipt of guideline-concordant OC surgery and chemotherapy was defined based on the NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer. Multivariable-adjusted modified Poisson regression models were used to assess the relative risk (RR) for guideline-concordant treatment in relation to HCA. Results: The study cohort included 5,632 patients: 6% NH-Black, 6% Hispanic, and 88% NH-White. Only 23.8% of NH-White patients received guideline-concordant surgery and the full cycles of chemotherapy versus 14.2% of NH-Black patients. Higher affordability (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01–1.08) and availability (RR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02–1.10) were associated with receipt of guideline-concordant surgery, whereas higher affordability was associated with initiation of systemic therapy (hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.05–1.13). After adjusting for all 3 HCA scores and demographic and clinical characteristics, NH-Black patients remained less likely than NH-White patients to initiate systemic therapy (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75–0.99). Conclusions: Multiple HCA dimensions predict receipt of guideline-concordant treatment but do not fully explain racial disparities among patients with OC. Acceptability and accommodation are 2 additional HCA dimensions which may be critical to addressing these disparities.

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Lindsay J. Collin, Ming Yan, Renjian Jiang, Keerthi Gogineni, Preeti Subhedar, Kevin C. Ward, Jeffrey M. Switchenko, Joseph Lipscomb, Jasmine Miller-Kleinhenz, Mylin A. Torres, Jolinta Lin, and Lauren E. McCullough

Background: Racial disparities in breast cancer mortality in the United States are well documented. Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) women are more likely to die of their disease than their non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts. The disparity is most pronounced among women diagnosed with prognostically favorable tumors, which may result in part from variations in their receipt of guideline care. In this study, we sought to estimate the effect of guideline-concordant care (GCC) on prognosis, and to evaluate whether receipt of GCC modified racial disparities in breast cancer mortality. Patients and Methods: Using the Georgia Cancer Registry, we identified 2,784 NHB and 4,262 NHW women diagnosed with a stage I–III first primary breast cancer in the metropolitan Atlanta area, Georgia, between 2010 and 2014. Women were included if they received surgery and information on their breast tumor characteristics was available; all others were excluded. Receipt of recommended therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, endocrine therapy, and anti-HER2 therapy) as indicated was considered GCC. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the impact of receiving GCC on breast cancer mortality overall and by race, with multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HRs). Results: We found that NHB and NHW women were almost equally likely to receive GCC (65% vs 63%, respectively). Failure to receive GCC was associated with an increase in the hazard of breast cancer mortality (HR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.37–2.20). However, racial disparities in breast cancer mortality persisted despite whether GCC was received (HRGCC: 2.17 [95% CI, 1.61–2.92]; HRnon-GCC: 1.81 [95% CI, 1.28–2.91] ). Conclusions: Although receipt of GCC is important for breast cancer outcomes, racial disparities in breast cancer mortality did not diminish with receipt of GCC; differences in mortality between Black and White patients persisted across the strata of GCC.