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Race and Therapy Related in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients

Socioeconomic status linked to chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, race is associated with chances of receiving chemotherapy but is not associated with survival, according to research published online Oct. 20 in Cancer.

Michael Wang, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study of 13,321 patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 65 years and older examining the relative risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality.

More blacks were in the poorest quartile of socioeconomic status compared to whites (72.2 percent versus 21.8 percent), and blacks were significantly less likely to receive chemotherapy compared to whites (43.2 percent versus 52.4 percent), the investigators found. All-cause and non-Hodgkin lymphoma-specific mortality increased significantly with age, advanced stage, increased comorbidity scores and poorer socioeconomic status, the researchers report, while receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both significantly decreased the likelihood of dying. In adjusted analyses, no statistically significant difference in the risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality between blacks and whites was noted.

"In conclusion, there was a strong positive association between the use of chemotherapy and prolonged survival, and poorer socioeconomic status was significantly associated with the higher risk of mortality," the authors state. "There were no significant differences in all-cause and lymphoma-specific mortality between [black and white] patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after controlling for treatment, socioeconomic status and patient demographics and tumor factors."

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