Back to Journals » Clinical Epidemiology » Volume 11

Longer distance to specialized treatment centers does not adversely affect treatment intensity or outcomes in adult acute myeloid leukemia patients. A Danish national population-based cohort study

Authors Tøstesen M, Nørgaard M, Nørgaard JM, Medeiros BC, Marcher CW, Overgaard UM, Severinsen MT, Schoellkopf C, Østgård LSG

Received 29 March 2019

Accepted for publication 10 July 2019

Published 28 August 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 769—780


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Michael Tøstesen,1 Mette Nørgaard,2 Jan Maxwell Nørgaard,3 Bruno C Medeiros,4 Claus Werenberg Marcher,5 Ulrik Malthe Overgaard,6 Marianne Tang Severinsen,7 Claudia Schoellkopf,8 Lene Sofie Granfeldt Østgård1–3

1Department of Clinical Medicine, Holstebro Regional Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 3Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 4Department of Hematology, Stanford University, School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA; 5Department of Hematology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark; 6Department of Hematology, University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; 7Department of Hematology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark; 8Department of Hematology, Herlev University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark

Correspondence: Lene Sofie Granfeldt Østgård
Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 99, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
Tel +45 2 972 8127

Background: Treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is widely centralized. Longer distances to a specialized treatment center may affect patients’ access to curative-intended treatment. Especially during outpatient treatment, distance may also affect survival.
Methods and patients: The authors conducted a national population-based cohort study including all AML patients diagnosed in Denmark between 2000 and 2014. We investigated effects of distance (<10 kilometers [km; reference], 10–25, 25–50, 50–100, >100) to the nearest specialized treatment facility on the probability of receiving intensive chemotherapy, HSCT, and achieving a complete remission (CR) using logistic regression analysis (odds ratios; ORs). For overall survival, we used Cox proportional hazards regression (hazard ratios [HRs]) and adjusted (a) for relevant baseline characteristics.
Results: Of 2,992 patients (median age=68.5 years), 53% received intensive chemotherapy and 12% received low-dose chemotherapy outpatient regimens. The median distance to a specialized treatment center was 40 km (interquartile range=10–77 km). No impact of distance to specialized treatment centers was seen on the probability of receiving intensive chemotherapy (10–25 km, aOR=1.1 (CI=0.7–1.7), 25–50 km, aOR=1.1 (CI=0.7–1.7), 50–100 km, aOR=1.3 (CI=0.9–1.9), and >100 km, aOR=1.4 [CI=0.9–2.2]). Overall survival in patients regardless of therapy (<10 km, aOR=1.0 vs >100 km, aOR=1.0 [CI=0.9–1.2]), in intensive therapy patients, or in patients’ choice of post-remission was not affected by distance to specialized treatment center. Distance to a transplant center also did not affect the probability of HSCT or survival post-HSCT.
Conclusion: In Denmark, distance to a specialized treatment facility offering remission-induction chemotherapy and HSCT does not negatively affect access to curative-indented therapy, treatment-response, or survival in AML patients.

Keywords: hematology, allogeneic transplantation, socioeconomics, prognosis, epidemiology

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]