Publication Abstract

Authors: Harlan LC, Clegg LX, Trimble EL

Title: Trends in surgery and chemotherapy for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States.

Journal: J Clin Oncol 21(18):3488-94

Date: 2003 Sep 15

Abstract: PURPOSE: We examined patterns of care in a population-based sample of 601 ovarian cancer patients diagnosed in 1991, and a sample of 566 women was selected in 1996 to examine trends in care. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patient cases were sampled from within the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. Medical records were reabstracted, and treatment data were verified with the treating physician. RESULTS: Across these two time periods, the percentage of women with presumptive stage I, II, and IV disease who received lymph node dissection increased. However, a significant number still were not precisely staged. More than 65% of women with ovarian cancer were given cyclophosphamide in 1991 compared with about 14% in 1996. Paclitaxel increased from 1% to 62% during that time. After adjusting for age, race or ethnicity, registry, income, insurance status, Charlson score, residency training program, and marital status, women with early-stage disease were significantly more often given National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference guideline therapy in 1996 than in 1991. However, for women with stage III and IV disease, the use of guideline therapy did not significantly increase. Older women and minorities consistently received less guideline therapy, and the lack of private insurance was an impediment for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women. CONCLUSION: Despite guidelines presented by several organizations, significant numbers of women with ovarian cancer are not being provided with appropriate care. This is particularly true for older and minority women, especially those without private insurance. Educational strategies must be devised to increase the number of women receiving guideline therapy and decrease disparities across population groups.