Propensity-weighted comparison of long-term risk of urinary adverse events in elderly women treated for cervical cancer

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Purpose Cervical cancer treatment is associated with a risk of urinary adverse events (UAEs) such as ureteral stricture and vesicovaginal fistula. We sought to measure the long-term UAE risk after surgery and radiation therapy (RT), with confounding controlled through propensity-weighted models. Methods and Materials From the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database, we identified women ≥66 years old with nonmetastatic cervical cancer treated with simple surgery (SS), radical hysterectomy (RH), external beam RT plus brachytherapy (EBRT+BT), or RT+surgery. We matched them to noncancer controls 1:3. Differences in demographic and cancer characteristics were balanced by propensity weighting. Grade 3 to 4 UAEs were identified by diagnosis codes plus treatment codes. Cumulative incidence was measured using Kaplan-Meier methods. The hazard associated with different cancer treatments was compared using Cox models. Results UAEs occurred in 272 of 1808 cases (17%) and 222 of 5424 (4%) controls; most (62%) were ureteral strictures. The raw cumulative incidence of UAEs was highest in advanced cancers. UAEs occurred in 31% of patients after EBRT+BT, 25% of patients after RT+surgery, and 15% of patients after RH; however, after propensity weighting, the incidence was similar. In adjusted Cox models (reference = controls), the UAE risk was highest after RT+surgery (hazard ratio [HR], 5.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.32-11.07), followed by EBRT+BT (HR, 3.33; 95% CI, 1.45-7.65), RH (HR, 3.65; 95% CI, 1.41-9.46) and SS (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.32-3.01). The higher risk after RT+surgery versus EBRT+BT was statistically significant, whereas, EBRT+BT and RH were not significantly different from each other. Conclusions UAEs are common after cervical cancer treatment, particularly in patients with advanced cancers. UAEs are more common after RT, but these women tend to have the advanced cancers. After propensity weighting, the risk after RT was similar to that after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-593
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the efforts of the staff at the Applied Research Program of the US National Cancer Institute (NCI)/National Institutes of Health; the Office of Research, Development, and Information of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Information Management Services, Inc; and the tumor registries staff of the NCI SEER program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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