This study aimed to describe failure to cure in terms of incidence, hospital variation, and as an outcome parameter for salvage esophagectomy.
Summary Background Data:
Failure to cure is a composite outcome measure that could be used for hospital comparison in esophageal carcinoma care.
All patients registered in the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Audit who underwent potentially curative esophageal carcinoma surgery in 2011 to 2018, were included in this nationwide cohort study. Failure to cure was defined as: 1) no surgical resection due to intraoperative metastasis or locally irresectable tumor, 2) macroscopically or microscopically incomplete resection, or 3) 30-day/in-hospital mortality. Association of baseline characteristics with failure to cure was analyzed using multivariable logistic regression in the total population and in salvage patients.
Some 5894 patients from 22 hospitals were included, of whom 630 (10.7%) had failure to cure (hospital variation [5.5%–19.1%]). Higher age, preoperative weight loss, higher ASA-score, higher N-stage, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, or no neoadjuvant therapy (compared with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy), open surgery, and resection before 2014 were associated with failure to cure. After case-mix correction, 2 hospitals had statistically significant higher failure to cure percentages, whereas 2 had lower percentages. Of 151 salvage esophagectomy patients, 32.5% had failure to cure. The failure to cure rate after salvage surgery was 27.6% in high-volume hospitals and 47.6% in medium-volume hospitals.
The incidence of failure to cure was 10.7%. Given the significant hospital variation in the percentage of failure to cure, improvement is needed. Since salvage procedures are more often successful in high-volume hospitals, further centralization of this procedure is warranted.