Wednesday, August 10, 2011

T&F Registry Needed

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death and although black women are less likely than white women to develop early stage breast cancer, they are more likely to die of the disease. In New York City, black and Hispanic women who accessed care and underwent surgical treatment for their breast cancer were twice as likely as whites to experience underuse of additional treatments.

Some of this discrepancy may be due to the underuse of additional therapies, but the reality is that breast cancer treatments require coordination among surgeons, pathologists, primary care physicians, and medical and radiation oncologists. Coordinating medical care in the case of breast cancer does not always occur with minority women.

It is also disturbing that in one-third of these cases, surgeons recommended further treatments and although the patients did not refuse, further care did not take place simply due to the lack of coordination of information. What is needed is an effective Tracking and Feedback (T&F) registry to provide the coordination needed so that more oncology consultations will be completed to reduce the underuse of additional therapy.

The Department of Health Evidence and Policy at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, in a five year study, is conducting a randomized controlled trial with support from the National Cancer Institute. The goal is to test the effectiveness of a T&F registry to examine how care can be coordinated to increase the rates of completed oncology consultations.

So far, eleven hospitals serving a large proportion of minority women have been recruited for the study. The plan is to recruit 540 women at these hospitals diagnosed with new breast cancer to participate in the study and take part in the T&F registry.

For more information on the study “Implementing a Tracking and Feedback Registry to Allay Cancer Therapy Disparities”, contact Investigator Nina Bickell at (212) 659-8551 or email