Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Can health service utilisation by gastrointestinal cancer patients be assessed using data from a biobank? (#157)

Fenglian Xu 1 , Carmel M Quinn 1 , Mamta Porwal 1 , Siobhan O'Neill 2 , David Goldstein 1 2
  1. UNSW Sydney, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia

Biobanks are recognised as repositories of biological specimens but the new paradigm of annotating these specimens with health data from different sources opens up new research opportunities. The HSA Biobank is a cancer biobank (n>3000) which annotates biospecimens with both hospital and Commonwealth health data. Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) data was analysed from a subset of HSA Biobank patients who had surgery for a diagnosed gastrointestinal cancer, to examine health service utilisation. Data from 179 patients was analysed, comparing those with lower gastrointestinal cancer (LGI; n=131) with those with upper gastrointestinal cancer (UGI; n=48). The total number of visits to a GP (UGI 100%, LGI 96.25%) and the length of GP consultations (e.g. level B consultation UGI 72.34%, LGI 67.79%) within 1 year post-surgery, showed no significant difference between the patient cohorts. Visits to a specialist (surgeon; UGI 62.5%, LGI 65.65%) also showed no difference between the groups although the UGI patients had proportionately more referrals for palliative care (UGI14.58%, 95% CI =4.6 - 24.56; LGI 3.82, 95% CI= 0.54 - 7.1) and physician (medical oncologist) visits (UGI 45.83%, 95% CI =31.73 - 59.93; LGI 39.69%, 95% CI =31.31 - 48.07). The total costs of treatment in the year post-surgery according to the MBS data was significantly different between the groups with cost per person for UGI patients ($28,924, 95% CI =$28,497 -$29,351) greater than for LGI patients ($17,356, 95% CI =$17,210 -$17,503). Additional analyses are underway focusing on the numbers of distinct procedures (e.g. endoscopy) undergone by UGI and LGI cancer patients. MBS data from non-surgical and surgical UGI cancer patients will also be examined for differences in health service utilisation. In conclusion, annotated biobanks have the potential to contribute rich, granular data for evaluation of patient cohorts and present a new and valuable tool for health service research.