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Race, Ethnicity Linked to Liver Cancer Survival

Study finds African-Americans have the worst survival even with equivalent treatment

TUESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- African-American patients with liver cancer have the worst survival among racial and ethnic groups even when they receive appropriate and equivalent treatment, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in Cancer.

Avo Artinyan, M.D., of City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., and colleagues examined the association between race and survival in 20,920 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 4,735 patients who underwent liver transplantation.

The researchers found that survival improved over time regardless of race, ethnicity or income. After adjusting for various factors, survival in patients with HCC was worst for African-Americans (hazard ratio, 1.15) and best for Asians (hazard ratio, 0.87). After liver transplantation, African-Americans had the worst median graft survival and overall survival (30.5 and 39.7 months, respectively), while Hispanics had the best graft survival and overall survival (83.4 and 86.6 months, respectively).

"Significant racial and ethnic disparities in the outcome of patients with HCC persist despite the receipt of comparable treatment," the authors conclude.

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