Facility volume and postoperative outcomes for malignant pleural mesothelioma: A National Cancer Data Base analysis

Lung Cancer June 2018 [Link]

Verma V, Ahern CA, Berlind CG, Lindsay WD, Grover S, Culligan MJ, Friedberg JS, Simone CB


This study of a large, contemporary national database evaluated postoperative outcomes and overall survival (OS) for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) by facility volume.

The National Cancer Database was queried for newly-diagnosed non-metastatic MPM undergoing definitive surgery (extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D)). Patients were dichotomized into those receiving therapy at a high-volume facility (HVF), defined a priori at the 90th percentile of case volume, with all others categorized as lower-volume facilities (LVFs). Statistics included multivariable logistic regression, Kaplan-Meier analysis, propensity-matching, and multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling. Sensitivity analysis varied the dichotomized HVF-LVF cutoff and evaluated effects on postoperative outcomes and OS.

Of 1307 patients, 621 (48%) were treated at LVFs and 686 (52%) at HVFs. HVFs were more often in the Middle/South Atlantic regions, and less likely in New England, South, and Midwest. Notably, 75% of procedures at HVFs were P/Ds, versus 84% at LVFs (p < 0.001). Patients treated at HVFs experienced shorter length of postoperative hospitalization (p = 0.035), lower 30-day readmission rates (4.6% vs. 6.1%, p = 0.021), and lower 90-day mortality rates (10.0% vs. 14.6%, p = 0.029). Median OS for respective groups were 18 versus 15 months (p = 0.010), which were not significant following propensity-matching (p = 0.540). On multivariable analysis, facility volume did not independently predict for OS. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the postoperative outcomes and OS findings. CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest investigation to date assessing facility volume and outcomes following surgery for MPM. Although no independent effects on OS were observed, postoperative outcomes were more favorable at HVFs. These findings have implications for postoperative management, patient counseling, referring providers, and cost-effectiveness.