Willingness to Travel for Cellular Therapy: The Influence of Follow-Up Care Location, Oncologist Continuity, and Race

Zachary A.K. Frosch, Esin C. Namoglu, Nandita Mitra, Daniel J. Landsburg, Sunita D. Nasta, Justin E. Bekelman, Raghuram Iyengar, Carmen E. Guerra, Marilyn M. Schapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Patients weigh competing priorities when deciding whether to travel to a cellular therapy center for treatment. We conducted a choice-based conjoint analysis to determine the relative value they place on clinical factors, oncologist continuity, and travel time under different post-treatment follow-up arrangements. We also evaluated for differences in preferences by sociodemographic factors. METHODS We administered a survey in which patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma selected treatment plans between pairs of hypothetical options that varied in travel time, follow-up arrangement, oncologist continuity, 2-year overall survival, and intensive care unit admission rate. We determined importance weights (which represent attributes’ value to participants) using generalized estimating equations. RESULTS Three hundred and two patients (62%) responded. When all follow-up care was at the center providing treatment, plans requiring longer travel times were less attractive (v 30 minutes, importance weights [95% CI] of –0.54 [–0.80 to –0.27], –0.57 [–0.84 to –0.29], and –0.17 [–0.49 to 0.14] for 60, 90, and 120 minutes). However, the negative impact of travel on treatment plan choice was mitigated by offering shared follow-up (importance weights [95% CI] of 0.63 [0.33 to 0.93], 0.32 [0.08 to 0.57], and 0.26 [0.04 to 0.47] at 60, 90, and 120 minutes). Black participants were less likely to choose plans requiring longer travel, regardless of follow-up arrangement, as indicated by lower value importance weights for longer travel times. CONCLUSION Reducing travel burden through shared follow-up may increase patients’ willingness to travel to receive cellular therapies, but additional measures are required to facilitate equitable access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E193-E203
JournalJCO Oncology Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


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