Disparities in clinical care have been described for patients with limited insurance coverage or social support. We hypothesized that patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), or multiple myeloma (MM) treated at an urban county hospital serving indigent and under-insured patients would face barriers for referral to a private academic transplant center for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Charts of patients with HL, NHL, or MM treated at Grady Memorial Hospital between 2007 and 2013 were reviewed, and 215 patients with diagnosis of HD (n=40), NHL (n=96), and MM (n=79). 55 patients were referred for ASCT consults and 160 patients were not referred. Reasons for transplant non-referral included established clinical criteria (64% of cases), poor performance status (13%), refusal (4%), moved/lost-to-follow-up (4%), medical non-compliance (3%), death (3%), or referral to another hospital (1%). Non-referral based upon socio-economic criteria included: lack of legal immigration status/insurance (2%), and lack of social support/substance abuse (2%). Among the 55 referred patients, 27 patients (49%) underwent ASCT. Median follow-up for all referred patients from the time of diagnosis was 3.9 [0.7-22.7] years. 5-year survival from the date of diagnosis for patients who received ASCT was 80.2% versus 65.7% for non-transplanted patients (log-rank test, p-value=0.11). While the referral process did not demonstrate significant barriers based upon insurance or social status, further evaluation is needed to identify modifiable factors that can improve referral and assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act on access to ASCT.
Keywords: Autologous stem cell transplantation; Health disparity; Lymphoma; Myeloma; Referral.
Late non-relapse mortality among adult autologous stem cell transplant recipients: a nation-wide analysis of 1,482 patients transplanted in 1990-2003.Eur J Haematol. 2006 Aug;77(2):114-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2006.00685.x. Eur J Haematol. 2006. PMID: 16856906
HIV status does not affect the outcome of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2010 Sep;16(9):1302-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.03.019. Epub 2010 Mar 28. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2010. PMID: 20353830 Free PMC article.
Predictive value of (18)F-FDG hybrid PET/CT for the clinical outcome in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma prior to and after autologous stem cell transplantation.Hematology. 2010 Feb;15(1):21-7. doi: 10.1179/102453310X12583347009739. Hematology. 2010. PMID: 20132658 Clinical Trial.
Ifosfamide, idarubicin, and etoposide in relapsed/refractory Hodgkin disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a salvage regimen with high response rates before autologous stem cell transplantation.Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2005 Sep;11(9):688-97. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2005.05.014. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2005. PMID: 16125639 Clinical Trial.
BEAM chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell support in lymphoma patients: analysis of efficacy, toxicity and prognostic factors.Bone Marrow Transplant. 1997 Sep;20(6):451-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1700913. Bone Marrow Transplant. 1997. PMID: 9313877 Clinical Trial.