PURPOSE: Overuse of radiographic imaging in patients with prostate cancer (CaP) who are unlikely to have metastatic disease is costly and can lead to patient harm from unnecessary procedures.
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However, underuse of imaging can lead to undiagnosed metastatic disease, resulting in aggressive treatments in patients with incurable disease. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends bone scans and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during initial work-up of select patients with intermediate- or high-risk CaP. We quantify the proportion of patients who received work-up discordant with NCCN guidelines.
METHODS: Patients in the SEER-Medicare database diagnosed from 2004 to 2007 were included. We report bone scan and CT/MRI from date of diagnosis to the earlier of first treatment or 6 months.
RESULTS: Sixty-five percent of patients for whom bone scan was recommended received it, and 49% received recommended CT/MRI. Further, 43% of patients for whom bone scan was not recommended received it, and 38% received CT/MRI when not recommended. Age and race were significantly associated with discordance on multivariable models. There was significant regional variation. Underuse of recommended bone and CT/MRI scans decreased in more recent years, but overuse of unnecessary CT/MRI increased.
CONCLUSION: There is a high prevalence of both overuse and underuse of guideline-recommended imaging in CaP. Additional research is required to examine contributing factors to guideline nonadherence in the imaging work-up of CaP.
Falchook AD, Hendrix LH, Chen RC. Are you the author?
Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
Reference: J Oncol Pract. 2015 Mar;11(2):e239-46.