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J Clin Oncol. 2012 Jan 10;30(2):142-50. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.36.8399. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

Influence of race, insurance, socioeconomic status, and hospital type on receipt of guideline-concordant adjuvant systemic therapy for locoregional breast cancers.

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  • 1Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1615 Poydras St, Suite 1400, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.



For breast cancer, guidelines direct the delivery of adjuvant systemic therapy on the basis of lymph node status, histology, tumor size, grade, and hormonal receptor status. We explored how race/ethnicity, insurance, census tract-level poverty and education, and hospital Commission on Cancer (CoC) status were associated with the receipt of guideline-concordant adjuvant systemic therapy.


Locoregional breast cancers diagnosed in 2004 (n = 6,734) were from the National Program of Cancer Registries-funded seven-state Patterns of Care study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Predictors of guideline-concordant (receiving/not receiving) adjuvant systemic therapy, according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines, were explored by logistic regression.


Overall, 35% of women received nonguideline chemotherapy, 12% received nonguideline regimens, and 20% received nonguideline hormonal therapy. Significant predictors of nonguideline chemotherapy included Medicaid insurance (odds ratio [OR], 0.66; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.86), high-poverty areas (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.96), and treatment at non-CoC hospitals (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.85), with adjustment for age, registry, and clinical variables. Predictors of nonguideline regimens among chemotherapy recipients included lack of insurance (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.92), high-poverty areas (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.97), and low-education areas (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.89) after adjustment. Living in high-poverty areas (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.96) and treatment at non-CoC hospitals (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.83) predicted nonguideline hormonal therapy after adjustment. ORs for poverty, education, and insurance were attenuated in the full models.


Sociodemographic and hospital factors are associated with guideline-concordant use of systemic therapy for breast cancer. The identification of modifiable factors that lead to nonguideline treatment may reduce disparities in breast cancer survival.

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