WASHINGTONAfrican-American women with uterine cancer have worse survival rates than white women who received similar treatment even though they had similar prognostic factors, according to a review of four clinical trials (Cancer published online Sept. 25, 2006, DOI: 10.1002/cncr.22232; print issue date: Nov. 1, 2006). "While the causes of this survival difference remain to be elucidated, socioeconomic, biologic, and cultural etiologies may be involved," said G. Larry Maxwell, MD, of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The researchers analyzed data from 1,151 patients with stage III-IV or recurrent endometrial cancer enrolled in any of four randomized controlled treatment trials. After controlling for presentation and treatment, the researchers found that African-Americans had a 26% greater risk of death from uterine cancer than whites. "When response to treatment was analyzed, Blacks appeared to have lower tumor response to each of the chemotherapy regimens employed in the trials," Dr. Maxwell said. African-Americans survived a median 10.6 months vs 12.2 months for whites. At presentation, African-Americans were more likely to present with more serious disease, including papillary serous histology, stage IV disease, and high tumor grade.