Ovarian cancer patients who receive care that coincides with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines may have an increased chance of survival, according to the results of a recent study published in the July 2013 issue of Gynecologic Oncology
The study enrolled 13,321 patients from the California Cancer Registry diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer between 1999 and 2006 who were receiving surgical treatment. Treatment was considered to be adherent to NCCN guidelines if it followed stage-appropriate surgical procedures and recommended chemotherapy. The researchers studied patient, disease-related, and treatment characteristics related to guideline adherence and overall survival.
Overall, 37.2% of patients received care adherent to NCCN guidelines. After adjusting for disease-related and health care system factors, patients who received treatment nonadherent to NCCN guidelines were 34% more likely to die of ovarian cancer than those who received adherent care. High-volume hospitals, those that treated 20 or more cases of ovarian cancer per year, were likely to deliver guideline-adherent care 50.8% of the time, while low-volume hospitals were adherent to guidelines just 34.1% of the time. Surgeons who operated on at least 10 ovarian cancer patients per year were more likely to be adherent to guidelines than low-volume surgeons: 47.6% compared with 34.5%, respectively.
The authors conclude that adherence to NCCN guidelines may improve the chances for survival in ovarian cancer patients.