Christopher R. Flowers, MD, on Disparities in Lymphoma and Myeloma

May 21, 2020
Hannah Slater

The lymphoma and myeloma expert indicated that one of the key ways to address these disparities in lymphoma and myeloma is to improve minority and rural accrual in clinical trials.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Christopher R. Flowers, MD, department chair for the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discussed the existing disparities in lymphoma and myeloma outcomes among minority and rural patients, as well as various ways to increase minority enrollment in clinical trials to address the disparities. 

According to Flowers, these disparities have been identified by race in lymphoma in terms of the age of onset, with African Americans presenting at a younger age. Moreover, there are disparities in outcome where there are differences in survival by both race and insurance status, with patients who are uninsured or who have Medicaid insurance generally having worse outcomes. Even further, there are disparities by rural status where they have found that individuals who come from a rural or urban area have worse survival compared to those who live in metropolitan areas. 

“There are very clear differences in outcomes for patients in those groups, and those are the kinds of populations that we would like to target in ways that improve those outcomes,” said Flowers. 

Flowers indicated that one of the key ways to address these disparities in lymphoma and myeloma is to improve minority and rural accrual in clinical trials. For instance, looking at new approaches for care, new strategies or algorithms for traditional care practices, or even new therapies in some situations could be beneficial. 

“I’m hopeful that we’re in a brand new era where there are opportunities to make marked in roads,” Flowers said.

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences National Broadcast, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences channels.

Related Content:

Leukemia | Multiple Myeloma | Lymphoma