This study used the National Cancer Data Base to analyze 9,817 patients and found that patients treated at higher-volume facilities were more likely to have shorter radiation therapy duration than those at lower volume facilities.
The research team’s findings also revealed there was a 5.7% decreased hazard of death per additional 20 patients treated per year per facility. When annual facility case volume was defined based on a threshold of 95 cases/year (90th percentile), there was a 17.5% decreased hazard of death for higher-volume versus lower-volume facilities.
“Our findings suggest a strong relationship between higher-volume radiation therapy facilities and improved overall survival for patients treated with IMRT for locally advanced head and neck cancers,” said Henry S. Park, MD, MPH, first author on the study and a chief resident in the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale School of Medicine. “Further investigation should focus on the role of other factors potentially underlying this association, including radiation contouring, education, multidisciplinary communication, and toxicity management.”