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Municipality and Adjusted Gross Income Influence Outcome of Patients Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in a Newly Developed Cancer Center in Mercer County New Jersey, USA, a Single Center Study

Capital Health, Medical Director Cancer Center, 1 Capital Way, Pennington, NJ 08534, USA
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Academic Editor: David Wong
Cancers 2021, 13(7), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071498
Received: 3 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 24 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention)
In the study we used a patient registry and associated its data with geography and tax returns to assess the impact of socioeconomic status and race on clinical outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer. Our findings indicate that African Americans and patients who live in an area with low socioeconomic status have significantly lower overall survival and lower utilization of specialty services. Our premise is that these patients encounter barriers when accessing specialty services at larger academic medical centers and that regional medical centers have a critical role to play in providing specialty services to the community.
Socioeconomic status (SES) correlates directly to ZIP code. Mercer County is not atypical as a collection of a dozen municipalities with a suburban/metropolitan population of 370,430 in the immediate vicinity of a major medical center. The purpose of this study for Mercer County, New Jersey, USA is to determine whether a patient’s ZIP code is related to the outlook of pancreatic cancer defined as staging at diagnosis, prevalence, overall survival, type of insurance, and recurrence. Our hypothesis was that specific variables such as socio-economic status or race could be linked to the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer. We interrogated a convenience sample from our cancer center registry and obtained 479 subjects diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1998-2018. We selected 339 subjects by ZIP code, representing the plurality of the cases in our catchment area. The outcome variable was overall survival; predictor variables were socio-economic status (SES), recurrence, insurance, type of treatment, gender, cancer stage, age, and race. We converted ZIP code to municipality and culled data using adjusted gross income (AGI, FY 2017). Comparative statistical analysis was performed using chi-square tests for nominal and ordinal variables, and a two-way ANOVA test was used for continuous variables; the p-value was set at 0.05. Our analysis confirmed that overall survival was significantly higher for Whites and for individuals who live in a municipality with a high SES. Tumor stage at the time of diagnosis was not different among race and SES; however, statistically significant differences for race or SES existed in the type of treatment received, with disparities found in those who received radiation therapy and surgery but not chemotherapy. The data may point to a lack of access to specific care modalities that subsequently may lead to lower survival in an underserved population. Access to care, optimal nutritional status, overall fitness, and co-morbidities could play a major role and confound the results. Our study suggests that low SES has a negative impact on overall pancreatic cancer survival. Surgery for pancreatic cancer should be appropriately decentralized to those community cancer centers that possess the expertise and the infrastructure to carry out specialized treatments regardless of race, ethnicity, SES, and insurance. View Full-Text
Keywords: pancreatic cancer; disparity; outcome pancreatic cancer; disparity; outcome
MDPI and ACS Style

Doria, C.; De Deyne, P.; Dolan, S.; Chung, J.; Yatcilla, K.; Zarifian, L.; Remstein, R.; Schwartz, E. Municipality and Adjusted Gross Income Influence Outcome of Patients Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in a Newly Developed Cancer Center in Mercer County New Jersey, USA, a Single Center Study. Cancers 2021, 13, 1498. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071498

AMA Style

Doria C, De Deyne P, Dolan S, Chung J, Yatcilla K, Zarifian L, Remstein R, Schwartz E. Municipality and Adjusted Gross Income Influence Outcome of Patients Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in a Newly Developed Cancer Center in Mercer County New Jersey, USA, a Single Center Study. Cancers. 2021; 13(7):1498. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071498

Chicago/Turabian Style

Doria, Cataldo, Patrick De Deyne, Sherry Dolan, Jooyeun Chung, Karen Yatcilla, Ladan Zarifian, Rona Remstein, and Eric Schwartz. 2021. "Municipality and Adjusted Gross Income Influence Outcome of Patients Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in a Newly Developed Cancer Center in Mercer County New Jersey, USA, a Single Center Study" Cancers 13, no. 7: 1498. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071498

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