In the United States, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is more common among communities with low socioeconomic status (SES), and these groups tend to be diagnosed with later-stage cancers. Sorafenib is the primary treatment for advanced HCC, however its substantial cost raises concern for access to treatment.
The newly developed Case-Background method was used to estimate odds ratios for the impacts of various sociodemographic factors on sorafenib access in clinically eligible patients. Socioeconomic status was defined as a factor of median income and education level based on ZIP code of residence.
There was a strong association between sorafenib prescription and residence in an area of higher SES. While controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and insurance status, high SES residence doubled the odds of sorafenib prescription (OR=2.05, p<.01).
Low socioeconomic status communities appear to have a reduced chance of receiving the only effective treatment for advanced HCC.