Authors: Lam CJK, Enewold L, McNeel TS, White DP, Warren JL, Mariotto AB
Title: Estimating Chemotherapy Use Among Patients With a Prior Primary Cancer Diagnosis Using SEER-Medicare Data.
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2020(55):14-21
Date: 2020 May 01
PubMed ID: 32412067
Abstract: Cancer treatment studies commonly exclude patients with prior primary cancers due to difficulties in ascertaining for which site treatment is intended. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare patients 65 years and older diagnosed with an index colon or rectal cancer (CRC) or female breast cancer (BC) between 2004 and 2013 were included. Chemotherapy, defined as "any chemotherapy" and more restrictively as "chemotherapy with confirmatory diagnoses," was ascertained based on claims data within 6 months of index cancer diagnosis by prior cancer history. Any chemotherapy use was slightly lower among patients with a prior cancer (CRC: no prior = 17.4%, prior = 16.1%; BC: no prior = 12.9%, prior = 12.0%). With confirmatory diagnoses required, estimates were lower, especially among patients with a prior cancer (CRC: no prior = 16.8%, prior = 13.6%; BC: no prior = 12.6%, prior = 11.0%). These findings suggest that patients with prior cancers can be included in studies of chemotherapy use; requiring confirmatory diagnoses can increase treatment assignment confidence.