Original Study| Volume 15, ISSUE 6, e955-e968, December 2017

Variation in Locoregional Prostate Cancer Care and Treatment Trends at Commission on Cancer Designated Facilities: A National Cancer Data Base Analysis 2004 to 2013

Published:April 25, 2017DOI:



      Contemporary treatment trends for prostate cancer show increased rates of active surveillance. However, nationwide applicability of these reports is limited. Additionally, the effect of Commission on Cancer facility type on prostate cancer treatment patterns is unknown.

      Patients and Methods

      We used the National Cancer Data Base to identify men diagnosed with prostate cancer, between 2004 and 2013. Our cohort was stratified on the basis of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network prostate cancer risk classes. Cochran–Armitage tests were used to evaluate temporal trends. Random effects hierarchical logit models were used to assess treatment variation at Commission on Cancer facility and institution level.


      In 825,707 men, utilization of radiation therapy declined and utilization of radical prostatectomy increased for all prostate cancer risk groups between 2004 and 2013 (P < .0001). Observation for low-risk prostate cancer increased from 16.3% in 2004 to 2005 to 32.0% in 2012 to 2013 (P < .0001). Significant treatment variation was observed on the basis of Commission on Cancer facility type. Across all risk groups, the lowest rates of radical prostatectomy and highest rates of external beam radiation therapy were observed in community cancer programs. The highest rates of observation for low-risk disease were observed in academic centers. Treatment variation according to institution ranged from 14% (95% confidence interval, 0.12-0.15) for androgen deprivation therapy up to 59% (95% confidence interval, 0.45-0.73) for cryotherapy.


      The increased utilization of observation in low-risk prostate cancer is an encouraging finding, which appears to be mainly derived by a decrease in radiotherapy utilization in this risk group. Regardless of tumor characteristics, significant variations in treatment modality exist among different facility types and institutions.


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