Treatment Patterns Among De Novo Metastatic Cancer Patients Who Died Within 1 Month of Diagnosis

Helmneh M. Sineshaw, Ahmedin Jemal, Kimmie Ng, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, K. Robin Yabroff, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Rachel A. Freedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about patterns of and factors associated with treatment for de novo metastatic cancer patients who die soon after diagnosis. In this study, we examine treatment patterns for patients newly diagnosed with metastatic lung, colorectal, breast, or pancreatic cancer who died within 1 month of diagnosis. Methods: We identified 100 848 adult patients in the National Cancer Database with de novo metastatic lung, colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancer, diagnosed between 2004 and 2014 and who died within 1 month. We performed descriptive and multivariable logistic regression analyses to examine receipt of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapy by cancer type, adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical variables. Results: Treatment substantially varied by cancer type, over time, age, insurance, and facility type. Surgery ranged from 0.4% in pancreatic to 28.3% in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, chemotherapy from 5.8% among CRC to 11% in lung and breast cancer patients, and radiotherapy from 1.3% in pancreatic to 18.7% in lung cancer patients. Use of some treatments (eg, surgery for CRC and breast cancer) progressively declined between 2004 and 2014. Compared with lung cancer patients treated at National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, those treated at community cancer centers had 48% lower odds of radiation. Conclusions: Treatment of patients diagnosed with imminently fatal de novo metastatic cancer varied markedly by cancer type and patient/facility characteristics. These variations warrant more research to better identify patients with imminently fatal de novo metastatic cancer who may not benefit from aggressive and expensive therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpkz012
JournalJNCI Cancer Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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