Treatment, short-term outcomes, and costs associated with larynx cancer care in commercially insured patients

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Objectives/Hypothesis: To examine associations between treatment, complications, and costs in patients with laryngeal cancer. Study Design: Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of MarketScan Commercial Claim and Encounters data. Methods: We evaluated 10,969 patients diagnosed with laryngeal cancer from 2010 to 2012 using cross-tabulations and multivariate regression. Results: Chemoradiation was significantly associated with supraglottic tumors (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 5.9 [4.4-7.8]), pretreatment gastrostomy (RRR = 4.0 [2.7-6.1]), and alcohol abuse (RRR = 0.5 [0.3-0.9]). Treatment-related complications occurred in 23% of patients, with medical complications in 22% and surgical complications in 7%. Chemoradiation (odds ratio [OR] = 3.7 [2.6-5.2]), major surgical procedures (OR = 4.9 [3.5-6.8]), reconstruction (OR = 7.7 (4.1-14.7)], and advanced comorbidity (OR = 9.7 [5.7-16.5] were associated with acute complications. Recurrent/persistent disease occurred in 23% of patients and was associated with high-volume care (OR = 1.4 [1.1-1.8]). Salvage surgery was performed in 46% of patients with recurrent/persistent disease and was less likely for supraglottic disease (OR = 0.5 [0.4-0.8]) and after chemoradiation (OR = 0.4 [0.2-0.6]). Initial treatment and 1-year overall costs for chemoradiation were higher than all other treatment categories, after controlling for all other variables including complications and salvage. High-volume care was associated with significantly lower costs of care for surgical patients but was not associated with differences in costs of care for nonoperative treatment. Conclusions: In commercially insured patients <65 years old with laryngeal cancer, chemoradiation was associated with increased costs, an increased likelihood of treatment-related medical complications, and a reduced likelihood of surgical salvage. Higher-volume surgical care was associated with lower initial treatment and 1-year costs of care. These data have implications for discussions of value and quality in an era of healthcare reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • Costs
  • Laryngeal neoplasms
  • MarketScan
  • Radiation
  • Squamous cell cancer
  • Surgery
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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