April 22, 2015

Best hospital depends on cancer type

Best hospital rankings for cancer do not take into account the fact that cancer reflects many different diseases.

The idea of a “Best Hospital for Cancer” does not reflect the fact that cancer comprises many different diseases. Jeffery Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., a resident in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt, and Vinay Prasad, M.D., MPH, aimed to rank the 50 highest ranked cancer hospitals – from the 2013 U.S. News & World report – based on the number and quality of clinical trials the institutions run for specific types of cancer.

The researchers conducted automated database searches and generated a summary measure of hospital productivity based on registered and published Phase II clinical trials for each institution and type of cancer. They found that different institutions were highly ranked in disease-specific productivity. For example, 43 institutions appeared in the top 10 ranks for at least one type of cancer – versus 10 institutions appearing in the overall cancer list.

The findings, reported in PLOS ONE, demonstrate that many different centers show excellence in different cancers. Vanderbilt has particular strengths in colorectal cancer and melanoma, the authors reported.

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