PURPOSE: Studies suggest that patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have superior survival when treated at specialized cancer centers (SCCs). However, the association of early mortality (< 60 days) with location of initial care, sociodemographic factors, and complications has not been evaluated in pediatric and young adult (YA) patients with ALL. METHODS: Using the California Cancer Registry linked to hospitalization data, we identified pediatric and YA patients with ALL who received inpatient leukemia treatment between 1991 and 2014. Patients were classified as receiving all or part/none of their care at an SCC (Children's Oncology Group- or National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center). Propensity scores were created for treatment at an SCC in each age group. Multivariable, inverse probability-weighted Cox proportional hazards regression models identified factors associated with early mortality. Results are presented as hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs. RESULTS: Among 6,531 newly diagnosed pediatric (≤ 18 years) and YA (19 to 39 years of age) patients with ALL, 1.6% of children and 5.4% of YAs died within 60 days of diagnosis. Most children received all of their care at an SCC (n = 4,752; 85.7%) compared with 35.5% of YAs (n = 1,779). Early mortality rates were lower in pediatric patients and those receiving all care at an SCC (pediatric: all, 1.5%, v part/none, 2.4%; P = .049; YAs: all, 3.2%, v part/none, 6.6%; P = .001). However, in adjusted models, receiving all care at an SCC was associated with significantly lower early mortality in YAs (HR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.81), but not in pediatric patients (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.25). CONCLUSION: YAs with ALL experience significant reductions in early mortality after treatment at SCCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy