Article Abstract

Immunotherapy utilization for hepatobiliary cancer in the United States: disparities among patients with different socioeconomic status

Authors: Kota Sahara, S. Ayesha Farooq, Diamantis I. Tsilimigras, Katiuscha Merath, Anghela Z. Paredes, Lu Wu, Rittal Mehta, J. Madison Hyer, Itaru Endo, Timothy M. Pawlik


Background: Patients with advanced hepatobiliary cancer (HBC) have a dismal prognosis and limited treatment options. Immunotherapy has been considered as a promising treatment, especially for cancers not amenable to surgery.
Methods: Between 2004, and 2015, patients diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), intra- and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer (GBC) were identified in the National Cancer Database.
Results: Among 249,913 patients with HBC, only 585 (0.2%) patients received immunotherapy. Among patients who received immunotherapy, most patients were diagnosed between 2012 and 2015, had private insurance, as well as an income ≥$46,000 and were treated at an academic facility. The use of immunotherapy among HBC patients varied by diagnosis (HCC, 67.7%; bile duct cancer, 14%). On multivariable analysis, a more recent period of diagnosis (OR 1.80, 95% CI: 1.44–2.25), median income >$46,000 (OR 1.43, 95% CI: 1.11–1.87), and higher tumor stage (stage III, OR 2.22, 95% CI: 1.65–3.01; stage IV, OR 3.24, 95% CI: 2.41–4.34) were associated with greater odds of receiving immunotherapy.
Conclusions: Overall utilization of immunotherapy in the US among patients with HBC was very low, yet has increased over time. Certain socioeconomic factors were associated with an increased likely of receiving immunotherapy, suggesting disparities in access of patients with lower socioeconomic status.

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