Prior research shows that residential distance to a treatment facility may be an important factor in central nervous system (CNS) tumor outcomes. Our goal was to examine residential distance to the reporting hospital and overall survival in adolescents and young adults (AYA) diagnosed with CNS tumors.
National Cancer Database data on AYA 15–39 years old diagnosed with CNS and Other Intracranial and Intraspinal Neoplasms (CNS tumors) from 2010 to 2014 were obtained. Distance between the case’s residence at diagnosis or initial treatment and the reporting hospital was classified in miles as short (≤ 12.5), intermediate (> 12.5 and < 50), and long (≥ 50). Cox proportional hazards regression models were used for analyses.
Among 9335 AYA diagnosed with CNS tumors, hazard ratios (HRs) were 1.06 (95% CI 0.96–1.17) and 0.82 (95% CI 0.73–0.93) for those with residences at intermediate and long vs. short distances, respectively, after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and zip-code level education and income. After adjusting for the facility volume of CNS tumor patients, the association was attenuated for long vs. short distance residences (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.81–1.04). The HRs varied by tumor type, race/ethnicity, and zip-code level income with significantly lower hazards of death for those with residences at long vs. short distances for low-grade astrocytic tumors, ependymomas, non-Hispanic Whites, and those from higher-income areas.
Living at long distances for CNS tumor care may be associated with better survival in AYA patients. This may be explained by travel to facilities with more experience treating CNS tumors.