Impact of Teaching Facility Status and High-Volume Centers on Outcomes for Lung Cancer Resection: An Examination of 13,469 Surgical Patients

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BackgroundStudies suggest that institutional case volume and teaching status significantly affect patient survival. We sought to compare outcomes of surgical resection for lung cancer at teaching facilities (TF) and at high-volume centers (HVC).MethodsPatients undergoing lung cancer resection with curative intent were examined using a linked dataset from 1998 to 2002 between the Florida Cancer Data System and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.ResultsA total of 13,469 patients were analyzed and outcomes adjusted for comorbidities. Median survival time (MST) was superior for patients treated at TF versus nonteaching facilities (NTF) (47.1 versus 40.5 months, P < 0.001). Mortality rates at NTF were higher at 30 days (2.6% versus 1.1%, P < 0.001), 90 days (6.8% versus 3.8%, P < 0.001), and at 5 years (63.9% versus 59.2%, P = 0.005). Similarly, MST was superior in the cohort treated at HVC versus low-volume center (LVC) (45.1 versus 39.8 months, P < 0.001). Mortality was observed to be higher in LVC than HVC at 30 days (2.7% versus 1.6%, P < 0.001), 90 days (7.5% versus 4.0%, P < 0.001), and at 5 years (63.5% versus 59.3%, P = 0.002). Significant preoperative, independent predictors of survival include age, sex, smoking status, and the existence of certain comorbidities. Treatment at a TF or HVC were independent predictors of better outcome. Race, use of chemotherapy or radiation did not affect outcomes.ConclusionSurgical treatment for lung cancer at TF or HVC results in significantly better short- and long-term patient outcomes.

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