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Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Survival

Among ovarian cancer patients, African American (AA) women experience poorer survival compared to other race/ethnicity groups. This has been attributed to differences in access to health care. We evaluated racial/ethnic differences in chemotherapy dosing and survival in a cohort study among members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and thus with equivalent access to health care. Analyses included epithelial invasive ovarian cancer cases (n=793) receiving adjuvant first-line therapy of carboplatin and paclitaxel with curative intent, with median follow-up of 50 months. Relative dose intensity (RDI) was computed for carboplatin and paclitaxel separately as dose administered/week divided by expected dose/week, and average RDI (ARDI) was then calculated for the regimen. Proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) after adjusting for relevant covariates. Compared to whites, AAs were more likely to have dose reduction (ARDI<85%), treatment delay, and early discontinuation. Hispanics were also more likely to have dose reduction, but less likely to have early discontinuation or treatment delay. After controlling for prognostic factors including ARDI, AA women had the worst survival. Compared to whites, adjusted HRs (95% CI) for overall mortality were 1.56 (1.01-2.39) for AA; 0.89 (0.61-1.31) for Asians; and 1.41 (0.98-2.04) for Hispanics. Findings for ovarian cancer-specific mortality were similar. Disparities in ovarian cancer treatment and survival in AA persisted among women with equal access to care. These findings warrant further evaluation of biological, personal, and social factors that may be responsible for these differences.

Authors: Bandera EV; Lee VS; Rodriguez-Rodriguez L; Powell B; Kushi LH

Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Aug 12.

PubMed abstract

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