Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cancer Informatics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

December 2015


A catchment area (CA) is the geographic area and population from which a cancer center draws patients. Defining a CA allows a cancer center to describe its primary patient population and assess how well it meets the needs of cancer patients within the CA. A CA definition is required for cancer centers applying for National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center status. In this research, we constructed both diagnosis and diagnosis/treatment CAs for the Massey Cancer Center (MCC) at Virginia Commonwealth University. We constructed diagnosis CAs for all cancers based on Virginia state cancer registry data and Bayesian hierarchical logistic regression models. We constructed a diagnosis/treatment CA using billing data from MCC and a Bayesian hierarchical Poisson regression model. To define CAs, we used exceedance probabilities for county random effects to assess unusual spatial clustering of patients diagnosed or treated at MCC after adjusting for important demographic covariates. We used the MCC CAs to compare patient characteristics inside and outside the CAs. Among cancer patients living within the MCC CA, patients diagnosed at MCC were more likely to be minority, female, uninsured, or on Medicaid.


Copyright © 2015 the authors, publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Limited. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 3.0 License.

Is Part Of

VCU Biostatistics Publications

CIN-suppl_2-2015-071-s001.docx (32 kB)
County membership in three catchment areas (CA). Diagnosis catchment area was determined from Virginia Cancer Registry data. Diagnosis/treatment catchment area was determined from Virginia Commonwealth University Health System billing data.