Predictors of treatment initiation and mapping the cancer diagnostic pathway: A retrospective observational cohort study of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer

Sarah Sharman Moser*, Shira Yaari, Damien Urban, Lior Apter, Netta Passwell, Gally Teper, Gabriel Chodick, Nava Siegelmann-Danieli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Health-care providers in the US revealed that a substantial proportion of mNSCLC patients do not receive any first-line therapy and the biggest gaps in care are time inefficiencies in the diagnostic process. The goal of this study was to determine whether such gaps are found in Israel where healthcare is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is free and compulsory. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational cohort study using the computerized data of Maccabi Healthcare Services, a 2.5 million-member state-mandated health-service. Patients with mNSCLC diagnosed between 2017 and 2018 were followed until December 2019. Results: Among 434 patients (62% male, mean age 68 y, 74% adenocarcinoma), 345 (79%) initiated first-line treatment. Compared to treated, untreated patients (n = 89) were more likely to be older (mean [SD]=71 years [10] vs. 67 [10], p < 0.001), have a higher co-morbidity index (5.6 ([4.4] vs. 4.0 [3.4], p < 0.001), smokers (84% vs. 66%, p = 0.001), and require hospitalization in the year prior to diagnosis (80% vs 61%, p = 0.002). There was no difference in socioeconomic status. Time from first symptom to imaging was longer for untreated than treated patients (6.51 months [4.24, 7.33] vs 3.48 months [2.76, 4.34] respectively, p = 0.22). Predictors of treatment initiation included age< 70 years, non-smokers, EGFR testing performed, ECOG performance status 0–1 and shorter wait from first symptom to imaging. Median time from first symptom to initiation of 1 L, was 7.76 months (6.51–8.75). Conclusion: The proportion of untreated mNSCLC patients are comparable to those reported in the US; we did not find health disparities between socioeconomic levels. Our data suggest that the main barrier to effective diagnostic process is the wait between symptom complaint and imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102156
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Volume79
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Merck Sharp and Dohme

    Keywords

    • Diagnostic pathway
    • NSCLC
    • Predictors of treatment

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