Introduction: Surgical resection is the primary curative treatment for localized gastric cancer. A multitude of research supports surgical nodal sampling guidelines. Though there are known disparities in adherence to nodal sampling, it is unclear how hospital program-level disparities have changed over time. The purpose of this study is to evaluate trends in program-level disparities in adherence to gastric cancer nodal sampling guidelines.
Methods: Patients who underwent resection of gastric cancer from 2005 to 2017 were identified in the National Cancer Database. Patients treated at academic programs were compared to those treated at nonacademic programs, and rates and trends of adherence to nodal sampling guidelines (defined as ≥15 lymph nodes) were determined. Adjusted multivariable analysis was used to determine likelihood of nodal sampling adherence while controlling for sociodemographic, clinical, hospital, and travel distance characteristics.
Results: A total of 55,421 patients were included with 27,201 (49.1%) of patients meeting adherence criteria for lymph node sampling. Academic programs treated 44.4% of the total cohort. Overall, lymph node sampling criteria were met in 59.2% of patients treated at high-volume academic programs and 37.0% of patients treated at low-volume nonacademic programs (incidence rate ratios 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.63-0.72 versus high-volume academic programs). Adherence rates improved from 2005 to 2017 for both low-volume nonacademic programs (27.8% in 2005 to 50.1% in 2017) and high-volume academic programs (46.0% in 2005 to 69.8% in 2017, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Though adherence rates have improved from 2005 to 2017, high-volume academic programs were more likely to adhere to lymph node sampling guidelines for gastric cancer.
Keywords: Gastric cancer; Lymph node; National cancer database; Quality; Quality measure adherence.
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