ASA: Better Surgical Outcomes at Select Cancer Hospitals

Improved survival after colorectal cancer surgery at NCI-designated hospitals

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with colorectal cancer, having surgery at a hospital with a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation is associated with greatly improved survival, according to research findings presented at the American Surgical Association Annual Meeting April 24-26 in New York City and due to be published in the Annals of Surgery later this year.

Najjia Mahmoud, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed SEER-Medicare data from 33,970 colectomy and 8,591 proctectomy patients from across the United States between 1996 and 2003, in order to investigate outcomes after colon and rectal cancer surgery.

The researchers found that patients operated on at NCI-designated hospitals had greatly improved postoperative survival compared to those operated on at non-designated hospitals, with rates of 6.7 and 3.2 percent, respectively, following colectomy, and 5.0 and 1.9 percent, respectively, following proctectomy. Long-term survival was also significantly improved for both colon and rectal cancer patients following resection at NCI centers (hazard ratios of 0.84 and 0.85, respectively).

"NCI designation is associated with lower risk of postoperative death and improved long-term survival. Possible factors responsible for these benefits include surgeon training, multidisciplinary care and adherence to treatment guidelines. Studies are under way to elucidate the factors leading to improved patient outcomes," the authors conclude.

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