Study Finds That Distance from Healthcare Facility May Impact Cancer Survival

A new study has found that the rate of survival for young individuals diagnosed with central nervous system (“CNS”) tumors is higher the farther they live from healthcare facilities. Associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University Kimberly Johnson reported  that one of the possible causes for this was that patients who suffered from noncentral nervous system cancers likely lived further away from healthcare facilities, which increased the likelihood that they were diagnosed when their tumors were more difficult to treat and in advanced stages. In addition, patients with CNS tumors may have to travel farther for care in order to access facilities with more experience treating these tumor types.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Johnson, who is the first author of the study. The researchers’ findings were reported in the “Journal of Neuro-Oncology.”

For their study, the researchers assessed data on more than 9,000 individuals, all aged between 15 and 39, who had been diagnosed with CNS tumors between 2010 and 2014. The researchers obtained the data from a National Cancer Database study.

The researchers discovered that young adults and adolescents who had been diagnosed with this particular type of tumors and lived farther from healthcare facilities had a lower risk of death. This is in comparison to patients diagnosed with the same tumors who lived closer to the reporting hospital.

They also found a higher survival benefit in association with less proximity to the hospital for CNS tumors, ependymomas and low-grade astrocytic tumors, as well as those in the spinal cord or the brain in comparison to other tumors. This benefit was also observed for patients who lived in higher income areas at initial treatment or diagnosis, and for non-Hispanic whites when compared with Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks.

In the report, Johnson noted that the study findings suggested that individuals with more resources were able to travel farther to facilities that had more expertise. This, she said, influenced outcomes of survival.

This research is a follow-up to a prior study that had found that young adults and adolescents living in rural counties in the United States and those who lived farther from healthcare facilities where they were diagnosed were more likely to have their cancers detected at later stages, when it was less treatable, which decreased their rate of survival. This is in comparison to patients living in metropolitan counties and in proximity to healthcare facilities.

Aggressive forms of brain cancer could soon come to face-to-face with novel and efficacious formulations that companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are seeking to develop in order to address the unmet clinical needs of patients.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP

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