Objectives: Previous studies have shown that patients who undergo oesophageal cancer surgery in high-volume hospitals have lower postoperative mortality rates. However, the impact of hospital volume on long-term survival is controversial.
Methods: We identified 2151 patients who were diagnosed with oesophageal cancer between 2008 and 2011 from a national population-based cancer registry in Taiwan. High-volume hospitals were defined as those performing more than 86 oesophagectomies during that period (22 cases/year). Patients were stratified by whether they received preoperative chemoradiation. Cox regression analyses were used to determine the survival impact of hospital volume.
Results: The 3-year overall survival rates after oesophagectomies were 44.9% in high-volume hospitals, compared with 40.2% in low-volume hospitals (P = 0.002). For patients who received preoperative chemoradiation (n = 850), the 1- and 3-year overall survival rates were 74.7 and 36.8%, respectively, in high-volume hospitals, compared with 73.5 and 42.6%, respectively, in low-volume hospitals (P = 0.333). For patients who did not receive preoperative chemoradiation (n = 1301), the 1- and 3-year overall survival rates were 78.1 and 50.0%, respectively, in high-volume hospitals, compared with 67.9 and 38.8%, respectively, in low-volume hospitals (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that hospital volume, resection margin, cT, pT and pN stages are significant independent prognostic factors.
Conclusions: Overall survival rate of patients who undergo oesophagectomies without preoperative chemoradiation at high-volume hospitals is significantly higher than at low-volume hospitals. However, there was no significant correlation between hospital volume and long-term outcome in patients who received preoperative chemoradiation.
Keywords: Cancer registry; Hospital volume; Oesophageal cancer; Oesophagectomy; Survival.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.