Dzimitrowicz H, Esterberg L, Miles L, Zanotti G, Borham A, Harrison MR. Provider referral patterns following nephrectomy in high-risk locoregional renal cell carcinoma. Poster presented at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers ASCO Symposium; February 15, 2020. San Francisco, CA. [abstract] J Clin Oncol. 2020; 38(Suppl 6):abstr 636.

BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether post-nephrectomy patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in real-world practice settings are typically assessed for recurrence risk post-operatively and whether patients at high risk of recurrence are seen by providers who can evaluate candidacy for adjuvant systemic therapy (AST), clinical trials, or alternative surveillance schedules.

METHODS: We identified all patients with locoregional RCC who underwent nephrectomy within Duke University Health System between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019 via an institutional database. Medical records were reviewed to identify patient characteristics, post-nephrectomy treatment and referrals, and follow up. Patients with tumor stage 3 or higher and tumor grade 2 or higher, regional lymph-node metastasis, or both, were classified as high risk of recurrence.

RESULTS: Of 500 patients with locoregional RCC who underwent nephrectomy, 111 (22.2%) had high risk of recurrence (Table 1). 15 patients with high risk disease (13.5%) were referred to a medical oncologist for discussion of AST. Fourteen of the 15 referrals took place in 2018 or later. 7 of 29 (24.1%) high risk patients were referred for discussion of AST in 2018 and 7 of 9 (77.8%) in 2019. All referrals were made by urologists to medical oncologists. Two patients received AST – one as part of a clinical trial and one node-positive patient received standard-of-care sunitinib. In the cohort of high-risk patients, follow up data was available for 83 patients with median follow up time of 1.16 years; 31 patients (37.4%) developed recurrent disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Within a single large academic institution, despite increasing numbers of patients with locoregional RCC at high risk of recurrence being referred to medical oncologists after nephrectomy, few patients received AST. These findings highlight the need for continued efforts at identifying effective AST and referring patients most likely to benefit.

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