In the Journals

Delay in breast cancer treatment decreased survival rate of late-stage patients

Breast cancer patients with late-stage disease who waited more than 60 days between diagnosis and treatment initiation had poorer survival outcomes than those who started treatment sooner, according to results of a noninterventional retrospective analysis.

The researchers conducted the study to determine whether a longer period between biopsy-confirmed breast cancer diagnosis and the initiation of treatment has an effect on survival outcomes.

Adult female North Carolina Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with breast cancer from 2000 to 2002 were eligible for the study.

Follow-up data through July 31, 2006, were available. Findings for the 1,786 low-income, adult women were culled from the linked North Carolina Central Cancer Registry–Medicaid Claims database. The mean age of patients was 61.6 years, and 44.3% were racial minorities.

The researchers created models to determine the effect on survival of delaying treatment at least 60 days after diagnosis.

The median duration between biopsy-confirmed disease to initiation of treatment was 22 days. One in 10 women waited at least 60 days to initiate treatment after diagnosis, according to the results.

Regression analysis results indicated that a longer duration between diagnosis and treatment did not affect survival among patients diagnosed at an early stage. However, among late-stage patients — when the interval was at least 60 days — researchers observed poorer OS (HR=1.66; 95% CI, 1.00-2.7) and breast cancer-specific survival (HR=1.85; 95% CI, 1.04-3.27).

“Interventions designed to increase the timeliness of receiving breast cancer treatments should target late-stage patients, and clinicians should strive to promptly triage and initiate treatment for patients diagnosed at late stage,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: One of the researchers reported a consultant or advisory role with Abbott Laboratories.

Breast cancer patients with late-stage disease who waited more than 60 days between diagnosis and treatment initiation had poorer survival outcomes than those who started treatment sooner, according to results of a noninterventional retrospective analysis.

The researchers conducted the study to determine whether a longer period between biopsy-confirmed breast cancer diagnosis and the initiation of treatment has an effect on survival outcomes.

Adult female North Carolina Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with breast cancer from 2000 to 2002 were eligible for the study.

Follow-up data through July 31, 2006, were available. Findings for the 1,786 low-income, adult women were culled from the linked North Carolina Central Cancer Registry–Medicaid Claims database. The mean age of patients was 61.6 years, and 44.3% were racial minorities.

The researchers created models to determine the effect on survival of delaying treatment at least 60 days after diagnosis.

The median duration between biopsy-confirmed disease to initiation of treatment was 22 days. One in 10 women waited at least 60 days to initiate treatment after diagnosis, according to the results.

Regression analysis results indicated that a longer duration between diagnosis and treatment did not affect survival among patients diagnosed at an early stage. However, among late-stage patients — when the interval was at least 60 days — researchers observed poorer OS (HR=1.66; 95% CI, 1.00-2.7) and breast cancer-specific survival (HR=1.85; 95% CI, 1.04-3.27).

“Interventions designed to increase the timeliness of receiving breast cancer treatments should target late-stage patients, and clinicians should strive to promptly triage and initiate treatment for patients diagnosed at late stage,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: One of the researchers reported a consultant or advisory role with Abbott Laboratories.