The impact of distance traveled on cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) outcomes needs further investigation.
This retrospective study reviewed a prospectively managed single-center CRS/HIPEC 1992–2022 database. Zip codes were used to calculate distance traveled and to obtain data on income and education via census data. Patients were separated into three groups based on distance traveled in miles (local: ≤50 miles, regional: 51–99 miles, distant: ≥100 miles). Descriptive statistics, Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox regression were performed.
The 1614 patients in the study traveled a median distance of 109.5 miles (interquartile range [IQR], 53.36–202.29 miles), with 23% traveling locally, 23.9% traveling regionally, and 53% traveling distantly. Those traveling distantly or regionally tended to be more white (distant: 87.8%, regional: 87.2%, local: 83.2%), affluent (distant: $61,944, regional: $65,014, local: $54,390), educated (% without high school diploma: distant: 10.6%, regional: 11.5%, local: 13.0%), less often uninsured (distant: 2.3%, regional: 4.6%, local: 5.2%) or with Medicaid (distant: 3.3%, regional: 1.3%, local: 9.7%). They more often had higher Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Index (PCI) scores (distant: 15.4, regional: 15.8, local: 12.7) and R2 resections (distant: 50.3%, regional: 52.2%, local: 40.5%). Median survival did not differ between the groups, and distance traveled was not a predictor of survival.
More than 50% of the patients traveled farther than 100 miles for treatment. Although regionalization of CRS/HIPEC may be appropriate given the lack of survival difference based on distance traveled, those who traveled further had fewer health care disparities but higher PCI scores and more R2 resections, which raises concerns about access to care for the underserved, time to treatment, and surgical quality.