Blacks Fare Worse Than Whites Despite Same Colon CA Therapy

Friday, October 14, 2011 (Last Updated: 10/17/2011)

FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with resected stage II and III colon cancer treated with identical adjuvant therapy, blacks have worse overall and recurrence-free survival than whites, but a similar recurrence-free interval, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Greg Yothers, Ph.D., from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Biostatistical Center in Pittsburgh, and colleagues examined whether disparities in survival and related end points between black and white patients with colon cancer persisted with identical treatment. A total of 1,218 black and 13,393 white patients with resected stage II and III colon cancer received standardized adjuvant treatment in 12 randomized controlled clinical trials between 1977 and 2002. The study end points were overall and recurrence-free survival, and recurrence-free interval.

The investigators found that the black patients were younger and more likely to be female than whites. The overall survival was significantly worse for blacks than whites, and persisted in subsets defined by gender, stage, and age. The five-year overall survival rates were worse for blacks than whites (68.2 versus 72.8 percent). Black patients had worse recurrence-free survival than whites (three year recurrence free survival, 68.4 versus 72.1 percent), but a similar recurrence-free interval (three-year recurrence-free interval rates, 71.3 versus 74.2 percent; hazard ratio of recurrence, 1.08; P = 0.15).

"Black patients with resected stage II and stage III colon cancer who were treated with the same therapy as white patients experienced worse overall and recurrence-free survival, but similar recurrence-free interval, compared with white patients," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to Sanofi-Aventis.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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