Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Research Design (MSCRD)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Public Health


Clinical Research Design

First Advisor

Dr. David Mannino


Objectives: Adherence to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for ovarian cancer treatment improves patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess disparities associated with ovarian cancer treatment in the state of Kentucky and central Appalachia.

Methods: Data on patients diagnosed as having ovarian cancer from 2007 through 2011 were extracted from administrative claims-linked Kentucky Cancer Registry data. NCCN compliance was defined by stage, grade, surgical procedure, and chemotherapy. Selection criteria were reviewed carefully to ensure data quality and accuracy. Descriptive analysis, logistic regression, and Cox regression analyses were performed to examine factors associated with guidelines compliance and survival.

Results: Most women were age 65 years or older (62.5%), had high grade (65.9%) and advanced stage (61.0%) ovarian cancer. Two-thirds of cases (65.9%) received NCCN-recommended treatment for ovarian cancer. The hazard ratio (HR) of death for women who did not receive NCCN-compliant care was 62% higher compared to the women who did receive NCCN compliant treatment (HR 1.62, 95% CI 1.11-2.35). Results from the logistic regression showed that NCCN-compliant treatment was more likely for: women age 65-74 years compared to age 20-49 (OR=3.32, 95% CI=1.32- 8.32), late stage compared to early stage cancers (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.20-0.53), receipt of care at tertiary hospitals (OR=1.92, 95% CI=1.10-3.34), and privately insured compared to Medicaid (OR=0.31, 95% CI=0.13-0.77) or Medicare (OR=0.31, 95% CI=0.15-0.66).

Conclusions: When the treatment of ovarian cancer did not follow NCCN-recommendations, patients had a significantly higher risk of death. Women were less likely to receive NCCN-compliant care if they were of younger age (20-49 years), had early stage disease, were not privately insured, or had care provided at a non-tertiary hospital.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)