Clinical Topics & News

Academic/Research Facility Utilization and Survival Outcomes in Osteosarcoma: An NCDB Analysis



Previous studies have reported that treatment at academic/research facilities is associated with improved survival in cancer patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of treatment facility type on overall survival for patients presenting with osteosarcoma.


The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was used to identify patients diagnosed with Osteosarcoma from 2004 to 2018. Facility types were identified as assigned by the Commission on Cancer Accreditation program. Data was analyzed using SPSS and statistical significance was set at P = .05.


Of 2085 patients queried, 39.6% were treated at an academic/research program. The stage-adjusted difference in median survival between academic/research and non-academic programs was found to be statistically significant on log-rank comparison ( P < .001). At each NCDB analytic stage (stage I-IV), academic/research programs were associated with decreased hazard and improved median survival. A Cox proportional hazards model showed a decreased likelihood of mortality in patients with osteosarcoma who underwent treatment at an academic/research program (HR, 0.882; 95% CI, .802-.969; P = .009). Chi-square testing revealed that patients at academic/research programs were more likely than those at non-academic/research centers to have private insurance, less likely to have Medicare, and more likely to live in counties of > 1 million people. These facilities were also more likely to have undergone Medicaid expansion in 2014. ( P < .05). Patients at non-academic/research programs were more likely to have advanced disease (stage III and IV) and higher comorbidity scores. Additionally, they were less likely to receive surgery and/or chemotherapy at the institution in which they were diagnosed. ( P < .05).


This study showed that Osteosarcoma patients treated in an academic/research program facility experienced increased survival compared with non-academic/research facilities. Patients at academic/research facilities tend to have less comorbidities, have private insurance, and present with more treatable disease. Despite these favorable prognostic factors, the data suggest an intrinsic benefit to being treated at an academic/research facility.

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