Use of definitive prostate stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)—thought to be more cost-effective than other alternatives—increased more than 3-fold since 2004 in a study involving >180,000 individuals. Patients who traveled longer distances for treatment were more likely to receive the modality.
Participants were treated with definitive external beam radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer between 2004 and 2012. Investigators looked at definitive prostate SBRT trends over time and the odds of receiving it based on travel distance. Among the results:
Definitive prostate SBRT use increased from 2% in 2004 to 6% in 2012.
Higher SBRT use was linked with longer travel distance for treatment, younger age, white race, more affluent zip code residence, academic treatment center, favorable disease characteristics, and fewer comorbidities.
Patients who traveled 25 to 50 miles for treatment were 63% more likely than those who traveled <25 miles to receive definitive prostate SBRT.
Patients who traveled >50 miles were more than twice as likely to receive such.
Mahal B, Chen Y, Sethi R, et al. Travel distance and stereotactic body radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer. [Published online ahead of print December 12, 2017]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.31190.