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Pediatric Brain Cancer Outcomes Worse for Black, Hispanic Patients

Disparities for disease severity not seen at diagnosis, meaning postdiagnosis factors may affect outcome

a child girl patient

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment disparities may explain worse outcomes for pediatric black and Hispanic brain cancer patients, according to a study recently published in Scientific Reports.

Robert Fineberg, from University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to identify patients (aged <19 years) with central nervous system (CNS) cancers diagnosed between 2000 and 2015.

The researchers found that black and Hispanic patients had a higher risk for death overall compared with non-Hispanic white patients. A higher risk for death was seen among black and Hispanic patients with either metastatic or localized disease at diagnosis compared with white, non-Hispanic patients. However, after adjusting for mediating factors, the difference in black patients was not significant. Neither black race nor Hispanic ethnicity increased the chance of metastatic disease at presentation when controlling for other variables.

"Racial and ethnic disparities in childhood CNS tumor survival appear to have their roots at least partially in postdiagnosis factors, potentially due to the lack of access to high-quality care, leading to poorer overall outcomes," the authors write.

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