JOURNAL ARTICLE

Failure to comply with NCCN guidelines for the management of pancreatic cancer compromises outcomes

Brendan C Visser, Yifei Ma, Yulia Zak, George A Poultsides, Jeffrey A Norton, Kim F Rhoads
HPB: the Official Journal of the International Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association 2012, 14 (8): 539-47
22762402

INTRODUCTION: There are little data available regarding compliance with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. We investigated variation in the management of pancreatic cancer (PC) among large hospitals in California, USA, specifically to evaluate whether compliance with NCCN guidelines correlates with patient outcomes.

METHODS: The California Cancer Registry was used to identify patients treated for PC from 2001 to 2006. Only hospitals with ≥ 400 beds were included to limit evaluation to centres possessing resources to provide multimodality care (n= 50). Risk-adjusted multivariable models evaluated predictors of adherence to stage-specific NCCN guidelines for PC and mortality.

RESULTS: In all, 3706 patients were treated for PC in large hospitals during the study period. Compliance with NCCN guidelines was only 34.5%. Patients were less likely to get recommended therapy with advanced age and low socioeconomic status (SES). Using multilevel analysis, controlling for patient factors (including demographics and comorbidities), hospital factors (e.g. size, academic affiliation and case volume), compliance with NCCN guidelines was associated with a reduced risk of mortality [odds ratio (OR) for death 0.64 (0.53-0.77, P < 0.0001)].

CONCLUSIONS: There is relatively poor overall compliance with the NCCN PC guidelines in California's large hospitals. Higher compliance rates are correlated with improved survival. Compliance is an important potential measure of the quality of care.

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