Integrated cancer networks improve compliance with national guidelines and outcomes for resectable gastric cancer

Cornelius A. Thiels, Kristine T. Hanson, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Judy C. Boughey, Travis E. Grotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend accurate clinical staging, perioperative therapy, and complete lymphadenectomy for patients with stage II to III gastric cancer. However, national compliance remains low. It was hypothesized that integrated cancer networks might improve compliance and outcomes within the community. Methods: Patients with stage II to III gastric adenocarcinoma undergoing curative-intent resection (National Cancer Data Base, 2006-2015) were examined. Guideline compliance was defined as any perioperative adjunctive therapy, complete lymphadenectomy, complete clinical staging, and complete compliance (all measures). Univariate comparisons and multivariable regression were used to assess factors associated with compliance, and Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to assess survival. Results: There were 27,210 patients identified: 7235 (26.6%) underwent surgery alone, whereas 19,975 (73.4%) received additional therapy. Half (53.1%) had complete lymphadenectomies, whereas complete clinical staging was available for 65.5%. Overall compliance with all 3 measures was 30.1%. Compliance improved by approximately 20% for each measure across the 10-year study period. Although patients treated at academic programs were most likely to receive concordant care in an adjusted analysis, those treated at integrated care networks were more likely to receive guideline-concordant care (odds ratio [OR], 0.69) than those treated at comprehensive community programs (OR, 0.48) or community programs (OR, 0.45; all P values <.001). The median overall survival was 45.5 months for patients who received guideline-concordant care and 32.0 months for those who did not (P <.001, reference for all ORs: academic programs). Conclusions: Compliance with guidelines was associated with improved outcomes. Although the rate of compliance with NCCN guidelines is improving, integrated care networks may be an important way of improving the quality of gastric cancer care within the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1294
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2020


  • compliance
  • gastric cancer
  • national guidelines
  • neoadjuvant
  • preoperative therapy
  • staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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