Racial Disparity Seen in Uterine Cancer Survival

Even when treatment and prognostic factors are the same, black patients have higher risk of death than whites

TUESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer have significantly poorer survival rates than white patients even when their treatment and prognostic features are similar, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in Cancer.

G. Larry Maxwell, M.D., of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., reviewed four randomized, control treatment trials of 1,151 patients -- including 169 blacks and 982 whites -- with stage III, IV or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Black patients were more likely than whites to have papillary serous histology, stage IV disease and higher tumor grade, and had a significantly lower median survival (10.6 months versus 12.2 months). After adjusting for performance status, disease stage, tumor histology, tumor grade and treatment, the researchers found that black patients had a 26 percent greater risk of death.

"Although the causes of this survival difference remain to be elucidated, socioeconomic, biologic and cultural etiologies may be involved," the authors conclude. "Racial disparities research should continue to look for those features that are associated with a poor prognosis among minorities as a more effective means of identifying individuals who may benefit from alternative prevention and treatment strategies."

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