Care at radiation oncology centers with a higher volume is associated with improved survival among patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Because the incidence of anal cancer is low, and radiation treatment requires technical planning, researchers assessed the effect of radiation oncology facility volume on survival in this patient group.

Investigators analyzed data from 13,550 patients who underwent radiation treatment and were included in the National Cancer Data Base. Facility volume was classified as low, intermediate, or high depending on the frequency of a facility’s identification code appearing in the query.

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The 5-year overall survival rates for patients who received radiation at low-volume, intermediate-volume, and high-volume facilities were 70%, 72.2%, and 75.4%, respectively (P < .001).

Patients who received radiotherapy at higher volume centers had a 19% reduction in the risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73-0.90; P < .001), in contrast with those who had treatment at lower volume radiation oncology facilities.

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High-volume centers were 27% more likely to treat patients with concurrent chemotherapy (P = .006) and 26% less likely to have treatment delays, in contrast with low/intermediate-volume centers.                                      


  1. Amini A, Jones BL, Ghosh D, Schefter TE, Goodman KA. Impact of facility volume on outcomes in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal: Analysis of the National Cancer Data Base. Cancer. 2016 Aug 29. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30327 [Epub ahead of print]