Alice M. Minhinnick, Alexander H. Dunn, Vahid Arabnejad, Johanna S. Paddison, Chris G.C.A. Jackson, Simon M. Pointer, Jason K. Gurney, Laird B. Cameron

Use of Novel National Data Sets to Monitor Chemotherapy Use and Outcomes: A Retrospective Cohort Study of Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Oncology (nursing)
  • Health Policy
  • Oncology

PURPOSE Te Aho o Te Kahu, the New Zealand Cancer Control Agency, is establishing a systemic anticancer therapy (SACT) database (Anti-Cancer Therapy—Nationally Organized Workstream [ACT-NOW]) which can be linked to other national health data collections. In this article, we explore the application of ACT-NOW data in the monitoring of uptake and outcomes after the public funding of pemetrexed in Aotearoa New Zealand. METHODS We used the ACT-NOW collection to identify patients with advanced nonsquamous non–small-cell lung cancer, who were treated with first-line platinum-based doublet chemotherapy over an 8-year period. Data were extracted for a period of 4 years before and 4 years after the national funding of pemetrexed (November 1, 2017). Treatments were classified as historical platinum doublet (cisplatin or carboplatin with gemcitabine, vinorelbine, paclitaxel, or docetaxel) or platinum pemetrexed doublet (cisplatin or carboplatin with pemetrexed). The primary outcome was the proportion of patients receiving each treatment type, before and after November 1, 2017. To prototype linkage to outcomes data, we evaluated hospitalization and 1-year overall survival (OS) rates by treatment. RESULTS A total of 331 patients were included from four cancer centers. All patients (116 of 116) who were treated with first-line platinum-based doublet chemotherapy between November 2013 and November 2017 received historical platinum doublet chemotherapy. After the introduction of pemetrexed, between November 2017 and November 2021, 94% (203 of 215) were treated with platinum pemetrexed doublet chemotherapy and 6% (12 of 215) with historical platinum doublet chemotherapy. Linkage to outcomes data for 1-year OS, hospitalization rates, and lengths of stay outcome data were achievable. CONCLUSION The ACT-NOW data set has the potential to facilitate evaluation of the impact of national-level SACT funding decisions on prescribing practice and specific patient outcomes. Our results support the use of these data to inform resource planning and quality improvement.

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