Many Patients Do Not Receive Guideline-Concordant Lung Cancer Treatment

CT scan
CT scan
Elderly and non-Hispanic blacks patients were particularly less likely to receive recommended lung cancer treatment.

HealthDay News — Many lung cancer patients in the United States receive no treatment or less intensive treatment than recommended, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Erik F. Blom, M.D., from the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the level of adherence to the minimal lung cancer treatment recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and the persistence of disparities by racial/ethnic group and age. Data were included for 441,812 lung cancer cases diagnosed between 2010 and 2014.

The researchers found that 62.1 percent of patients received guideline-concordant treatment (range across subgroups, 50.4 to 76.3 percent). Overall, 21.6 percent received no treatment (range, 10.3 to 31.4 percent), and less intensive treatment than recommended was received by 16.3 percent (range, 6.4 to 21.6 percent). Despite adjustment for relevant covariates, guideline-concordant treatment was less likely with increasing age (age ≥80 years versus <50 years: adjusted odds ratio, 0.12); this disparity was seen in all clinical subgroups. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks were less likely to receive guideline-concordant treatment (adjusted odds ratio, 0.78); this disparity persisted in all clinical subgroups but was not statistically significant for extensive-disease small cell lung cancer.

“This knowledge may be used to target interventions for improving the rate of lung cancer cases that receive guideline-concordant treatment and to reduce disparities,” the authors write.

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