From the Journals

Worse survival seen among black patients with MCL



Black non-Hispanic patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) have a lower rate of 5-year overall survival, compared with white non-Hispanic and Hispanic patients, according to a retrospective analysis of more than 18,000 cases.

Mantle cell lymphoma histology Wikimedia Commons/TexasPathologistMSW/CC-ASA 4.0 International

Mantle cell lymphoma

However, black patients were also most likely to receive treatment at an academic center, which was an independent predictor of better survival, reported Nikesh N. Shah, MD, of Emory University, Atlanta, and his colleagues. This finding suggests that even academic centers still need to focus on overcoming demographic disparities.

“Racial and socioeconomic differences have been reported in many malignancies and certain lymphomas; however, few studies report on disparities in MCL,” the investigators wrote in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia. “To our knowledge this is the first such study to assess racial and socioeconomic disparities in this disease.”

The investigators reviewed 18,120 patients with MCL diagnosed between 2004 and 2013; data were drawn from the National Cancer Database. The primary endpoint was overall survival from the time of diagnosis, with analyses conducted to assess various associations with race/ethnicity, facility type, clinical/tumor characteristics, cancer stage, insurance type, and other factors.

Results showed that Hispanic patients had the highest rate of overall survival, at 55.8%, followed by white patients, at 50.1%. Trailing behind these groups were black patients (46.8%) and patients of other races/ethnicities (46.0%).

Along with survival disparities, race/ethnicity was tied to certain clinical and treatment characteristics. Compared with white patients, black patients were more likely to experience B symptoms (28% vs. 25%) and have Medicaid or lack insurance (15% vs. 5%). Black and Hispanic patients were also less likely than white non-Hispanic patients to receive stem cell transplant (13% vs. 10% vs. 10%).

Although black patients were more likely than white patients to receive treatment at an academic center (51% vs. 38%), a factor independently associated with best survival among center types, whatever advantage provided apparently did not exceed disadvantages associated with race.

“We report inferior overall survival in black patients after accounting for socioeconomic status, as seen in other malignancies,” the investigators wrote. “Surprisingly, these patients were more likely to be treated at academic centers, which independently showed improved overall survival in multivariable analysis that controlled for age, disease stage, insurance status, and other socioeconomic factors.”

The researchers cited a number of steps that could help close the survival gap, including providing more comprehensive supportive care between physician visits and enrollment of patients from diverse racial background on clinical trials.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers reported having no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Shah NN et al. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2019 Mar 11. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2019.03.006.

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