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Gains In African American Multiple Myeloma Survival Rate Slows After 2005

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Gains In African American Multiple Myeloma Survival Rate Slows After 2005

I have commented about racial disparities many times before. Here is another study with states the obvious:

Racial disparities in incidence and outcome in multiple myeloma: a population-based study.

Blood. 2010
Authors: Waxman AJ, Mink PJ, Devesa SS, Anderson WF, Weiss BM, Kristinsson SY, McGlynn KA, Landgren O

Multiple myeloma (MM) is the most common hematologic malignancy in blacks. Some prior studies suggest inferior survival in blacks while others suggest similar survival. Using the original nine Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results registries, we conducted a large-scale, population-based study including 5,798 black and 28,939 white MM patients diagnosed 1973-2005, followed through 2006. Age-adjusted incidence rates, disease-specific survival, and relative-survival rates were calculated by race, age, and time period of diagnosis. Mean age at diagnosis was 65.8 and 69.8 years for blacks and whites, respectively (p<0.001). Incidence among blacks was over twice that among whites; this disparity was greater among patients <50 years (p=0.002). Over the entire study period, disease-specific and relative-survival rates were higher in blacks than whites (p<0.001). For whites, 5-year relative-survival rates increased significantly 1973-1993 to 1994-1998 (26.3% to 30.8%; p<0.001) and 1994-1998 to 1999-2005 (30.8% to 35.0%; p=0.004). Survival improvements among blacks were smaller and non-significant (1973-1993 to 1999-2005: 31.0% to 34.1%; p=0.07). We found (i) a younger age of onset among blacks; (ii) better survival in blacks 1973-2005; and (iii) significant survival improvement among whites over time with smaller, non-significant change seen among blacks, possibly due to unequal access to and/or disparate responsiveness to novel therapies.

Possibly due to unequal access to novel therapies? You think? Why else would survival progress stall in 2005, when thalidomide was being used more and Revlimd was fast becoming available. I just hope this type of study helps shine more light on a medically underserved minority population.

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat