African-Americans and Caucasians who have the same type of esophageal cancer and receive the same quality of treatment have a similar survival rate, preliminary results of a national study show.
The study was conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). Dr. Oscar Streeter, Jr., Assistant Professor and Chief Physician of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Southern California/Norris Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, says that preliminary analysis shows no statistical difference in the survival of African-American and Caucasian patients when they receive the same treatment.
The patients in the study had localized disease. All patients received exactly the same regimens of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
National statistics show that African-Americans are about two times more likely to die of esophageal cancer, says Dr. Streeter. The survival rate of patients with localized disease is 13% for African-Americans, and 24% for Caucasians.
African-American patients treated in clinical trials consistently have better survival rates than those who aren't, says Dr. Streeter.