Background: In 2007, the National Quality Forum (NQF) released four performance measures for the treatment of breast cancer. We proposed to study the degree of adherence with these measures among participating institutions in a multi-institutional trial. Methods: American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z0010 enrolled breast cancer patients onto a phase II trial studying the prognostic significance of bone marrow and sentinel node micrometastases. The current study used v2 analyses to determine the degree of adherence with four NQF measures among three institution types: academic, community, and teaching affiliate. Results: The study revealed small but important differences in two measures. Ninety-five percent of patients from teaching affiliated institutions received whole-breast radiation compared to 92% at academic and 91% at community hospitals. Among patients who were underinsured or uninsured, a marked decrease in radiation use was noted in comparison to patients with insurance-85 versus 93%, respectively. The study also revealed a difference among institutional types in patients undergoing excisional biopsy for diagnosis. In teaching-affiliated hospitals, 28.6% underwent excisional biopsy as compared to 36.8 and 37.4% in academic and community hospitals, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between adherence rates with the remaining two measures. Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered to patients with hormone receptor negative tumors C1 cm in size in 79-85% of institutions. Tamoxifen was administered to 79-82% of those patients with hormone receptor-positive cancers. Conclusions: Among breast cancer patients enrolled onto a multi-institutional clinical trial, we found a high degree of adherence with current consensus standards for adjuvant treatment, despite varied practice environments.
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