Authors: Hines RB, Jiban MJH, Choudhury K, Loerzel V, Specogna AV, Troy SP, Zhang S
Title: Post-treatment surveillance testing of patients with colorectal cancer and the association with survival: protocol for a retrospective cohort study of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database.
Journal: BMJ Open 8(4):e022393-
Date: 2018 Apr 28
PubMed ID: 29705770
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Although the colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rate has significantly improved over the past several decades, many patients will have a recurrence following curative treatment. Despite this high risk of recurrence, adherence to CRC surveillance testing guidelines is poor which increases cancer-related morbidity and potentially, mortality. Several randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with varying surveillance strategies have yielded conflicting evidence regarding the survival benefit associated with surveillance testing. However, due to differences in study protocols and limitations of sample size and length of follow-up, the RCT may not be the best study design to evaluate this relationship. An observational comparative effectiveness research study can overcome the sample size/follow-up limitations of RCT designs while assessing real-world variability in receipt of surveillance testing to provide much needed evidence on this important clinical issue. The gap in knowledge that this study will address concerns whether adherence to National Comprehensive Cancer Network CRC surveillance guidelines improves survival. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Patients with colon and rectal cancer aged 66-84 years, who have been diagnosed between 2002 and 2008 and have been included in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database, are eligible for this retrospective cohort study. To minimise bias, patients had to survive at least 12 months following the completion of treatment. Adherence to surveillance testing up to 5 years post-treatment will be assessed in each year of follow-up and overall. Binomial regression will be used to assess the association between patients' characteristics and adherence. Survival analysis will be conducted to assess the association between adherence and 5-year survival. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by the National Cancer Institute and the Institutional Review Board of the University of Central Florida. The results of this study will be disseminated by publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, presentation at national/international scientific conferences and posting through social media.