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Wurzer JC, Al-Saleem TI, Hanlon AL, Freedman GM, Patchefsky A, Hanks GE
Histopathologic review of prostate biopsies from patients referred to a comprehensive cancer center - Correlation of pathologic findings, analysis of cost, and impact on treatment
Cancer (1998) 83:753-759.
Abstract
BACKGROUND. Clinicians at the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) base prostate carcinoma treatment decisions regarding need to treat, field size, total dose, and adjuvant hormonal therapy on known prognostic factors including clinical stage, Gleason score (GS), perineural invasion (PNI), and pretreatment prostate specific antigen levels. The pathology of every patient is reviewed at FCCC to confirm a diagnosis of malignancy. The objective of this study was to define differences between pathologic reviews and their impact on treatment between outside institutions and FCCC. METHODS. The authors reviewed 538 pathology reports of prostate biopsies performed at both outside pathology departments and FCCC on patients evaluated between January 1993 and December 1996. The outside pathology reviews represented 107 community hospitals, academic institutions, and private pathology laboratories. Patients who had received hormonal therapy, cryosurgery, or radical prostatectomy prior To prostate biopsy were excluded from analysis. Final FCCC pathology determinations were compared with pathology reports from outside institutions. Reports then were analyzed to determine whether differences in interpretation would have resulted in different treatment strategies. Differences in percentages according to institutional type were evaluated using the chi-square statistic. The cost was assessed and cost per change in treatment estimated. RESULTS. The 538 pathology reviews identified a nearly 40% change in GS and a 13% change in greater than or equal to 2 GS between the FCCC pathology review and 107 outside academic institutions. The results of this study showed that 22% of community hospitals, 10% of private laboratories, and 8% of academic institutions demonstrated at least 2 GS changes compared with the FCCC pathology review (p = 0.001). There was no significant difference observed between types of institutions in the incidence of PNI. CONCLUSIONS. This analysis provides evidence of a significant difference in the pathologic reviews of prostate biopsies conducted at FCCC and outside pathology departments. There was a nearly 40% change in GS and a 13% change in greater than or equal to 2 GS between the FCCC pathology review and 107 outside institutions. The second pathology review added approximately $104 per case for a total of $55,952 to review all 538 cases. Overall, the savings in health care dollars resulting from the second pathologic review totaled $12,997. This second review of outside pathology in prostate cancer appears to be justified based on the treatment changes and on cost. Cancer 1998;83:753- 9. (C) 1998 American Cancer Society.
Note
Publication Date: 1998-08-15.
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