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Pre-operative wait times in high-grade non-endometrioid endometrial cancer: Do surgical delays impact patient survival?

Nica A, Sutradhar R, Kupets R, Covens A, Vicus D, Li, Q, Ferguson SE, Gien LT. Gynecol Oncol. 2022; 164(2):333-40. Epub 2021 Dec 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.11.016


Objective — Practice guidelines advocating for regionalization of endometrial cancer surgery to gynecologic oncologists practicing in designated gynecologic oncology centres were published in Ontario in June 2013. Our objectives were to determine whether this policy affected surgical wait times, and whether longer wait time to surgery is a predictor of survival in high grade endometrial cancer patients.

Methods — This was a population-based retrospective cohort study, which included patients diagnosed with high-grade non-endometrioid endometrial cancer who had a hysterectomy between 2003 and 2017. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression with a spline function was used to model the relationship between surgical wait time and overall survival (OS).

Results — We identified 3518 patients who underwent hysterectomy for high-grade non-endometrioid endometrial cancer. Patients who had surgery with a gynecologic oncologist had a median surgical wait time from diagnosis to hysterectomy of 53 days compared to 57 days pre-regionalization (p = 0.0007), and from first gynecologic oncology consultation to hysterectomy of 29 days compared to 32 days pre-regionalization (p = 0.0006). Survival was inferior for patients who had surgery within 14 days of diagnosis (HR death 2.7 for 1–7 days, 95% CI 1.61–4.51, and HR death 1.96 for 8–14 days, 95% CI 1.50–2.57), reflective of disease severity. Decreased survival occurred with surgical wait times of more than 45 days from the patient's first gynecologic oncology appointment (HR death 1.19 for 46–60 days, 95% CI 1.04–1.36, and HR death 1.42 for 61–75 days, 95% CI 1.11–1.83).

Conclusions — Regionalization of surgery for high-grade endometrial cancer has not had an impact on surgical wait times. Patients who have surgery more than 45 days after surgical consultation have reduced survival.

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