2023 Outstanding Dissertation Award for Research on Breast Cancer Treatment for Older Patients

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Guideline-Based Treatment Offers Greater Survival for Older Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Dr. Ravi Goyal

Dr. Ravi Goyal, PhD, a senior director of Health Economics at RTI-HS, has been awarded the 2023 Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Biological/Life Sciences category by the University of Houston. As the University award winner, his dissertation is automatically nominated to the National Distinguished Dissertation Award competition sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools and ProQuest. “I am honored that my work was selected for this award and for it being nominated for the national award consideration. I am grateful for having an environment that fosters high-quality and impactful research, both at the University of Houston and at RTI Health Solutions,” said Dr. Goyal.

Dr. Goyal’s dissertation represents the first population-based observational study in the United States assessing the success of CDK4/6 inhibitors in reducing the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with HR+/HER2– metastatic breast cancer. The study focused on Medicare patients aged 65 years and older and used a robust quasi-experimental study design. In addition, this study is the first in the Medicare population setting to examine the effect of CDK4/6 inhibitors in improving overall survival—the most important clinical endpoint of interest in cancer care. Study results provide vital evidence that can potentially influence real-world prescribing practices for older patients with HR+/HER2– metastatic breast cancer.

The research also identified several patient-level factors and social determinants of health as predictors in the initiation of treatment with CDK4/6 inhibitors, revealing potential disparities in access to these novel therapies and highlighting the need for equity in breast cancer–care delivery. The findings contribute to evidence-based treatment decisions, confirm improvements in the delivery of care consistent with guidelines, and provide novel evidence to all stakeholders involved in healthcare decision-making for patients with HR+/HER2– metastatic breast cancer.

Links to publications:

Goyal RK, Chen H, Abughosh SM, Holmes HM, Candrilli SD, Johnson ML. Overall survival associated with CDK4/6 inhibitors in patients with HR+/HER2– metastatic breast cancer in the United States: a SEER-Medicare population-based study. Cancer. 2023;129(7):1051-63. doi:10.1002/cncr.34675.

Goyal R., Holmes HM, Chen H, Abughosh S, Candrilli SD, Johnson ML. Impact of CDK4/6 inhibitors on chemotherapy utilization in earlier therapy lines for HR+/HER2– metastatic breast cancer in the United States. Breast Cancer Res Treat. Feb;198(1):159-166 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-022-06845-4.

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