High-volume ovarian cancer care: survival impact and disparities in access for advanced-stage disease

Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Feb;132(2):403-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.12.017. Epub 2013 Dec 20.


Objective: To characterize the impact of hospital and physician ovarian cancer case volume on survival for advanced-stage disease and investigate socio-demographic variables associated with access to high-volume providers.

Methods: Consecutive patients with stage IIIC/IV epithelial ovarian cancer (1/1/96-12/31/06) were identified from the California Cancer Registry. Disease-specific survival analysis was performed using Cox-proportional hazards model. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate for differences in access to high-volume hospitals (HVH) (≥20 cases/year), high-volume physicians (HVP) (≥10 cases/year), and cross-tabulations of high- or low-volume hospital (LVH) and physician (LVP) according to socio-demographic variables.

Results: A total of 11,865 patients were identified. The median ovarian cancer-specific survival for all patients was 28.2 months, and on multivariate analysis the HVH/HVP provider combination (HR = 1.00) was associated with superior ovarian cancer-specific survival compared to LVH/LVP (HR = 1.31, 95%CI = 1.16-1.49). Overall, 2119 patients (17.9%) were cared for at HVHs, and 1791 patients (15.1%) were treated by HVPs. Only 4.3% of patients received care from HVH/HVP, while 53.1% of patients were treated by LVH/LVP. Both race and socio-demographic characteristics were independently associated with an increased likelihood of being cared for by the LVH/LVP combination and included: Hispanic race (OR = 1.72, 95%CI = 1.22-2.42), Asian/Pacific Islander race (OR = 1.57, 95%CI = 1.07-2.32), Medicaid insurance (OR = 2.51, 95%CI = 1.46-4.30), and low socioeconomic status (OR = 2.84, 95%CI = 1.90-4.23).

Conclusions: Among patients with advanced-stage ovarian cancer, the provider combination of HVH/HVP is an independent predictor of improved disease-specific survival. Access to high-volume ovarian cancer providers is limited, and barriers are more pronounced for patients with low socioeconomic status, Medicaid insurance, and racial minorities.

Keywords: Access to care; Disparities; Ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Young Adult