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Published results showed patients with bone sarcomas who traveled more miles for treatment had a higher likelihood of receiving high-quality care at a high-volume facility and a lower risk of mortality.
“In adult patients, survival outcomes in patients who traveled short distances to low-volume facilities were worse than those in patients who traveled long distances to high-volume facilities, indicating the advantages of pursuing care at specialized institutions despite the possible travel burden,” the authors wrote. “It is crucial that referring providers consider these findings when making recommendations about where to obtain sarcoma care.”
Using the National Cancer Database, researchers examined associations between travel distance and survival among 8,432 patients with bone sarcomas diagnosed from 2004 to 2015. Researchers used multivariable Cox regression analyses that controlled for sociodemographic, clinical and hospital-level factors to identify associations, while subgroup analyses stratified patients by histological diagnosis, tumor stage and pediatric or adult status.
Results showed patients who traveled 50 miles or greater had a lower mortality risk vs. patients who traveled 10 miles or less. Researchers found patients at high-volume facilities had a lower mortality risk compared with patients at low-volume facilities.
Researchers noted 53% of patients who traveled 50 miles or more received care at a high-volume facility. This was compared with 32% of patients who traveled 11 to 49 miles and 18% of patients who traveled 10 miles or less, according to results. Researchers found patients had a lower risk of mortality if they traveled 50 miles or more to a high-volume facility vs. patients who traveled 10 miles or less to a low-volume facility. Patients with osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and chondrosarcoma; patients with stage I, II and IV tumors; and adults had worse overall survival if they traveled a short distance to a low-volume facility, according to subgroup analyses.