Equal Treatment Means Similar Survival for Esophageal Cancer Patients, Regardless of Race

June 1, 1995

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.

African-Americans and Caucasians who have the same type of esophagealcancer and receive the same quality of treatment have a similarsurvival 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 ChiefPhysician of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Universityof Southern California/Norris Cancer Hospital and Research Institute,says that preliminary analysis shows no statistical differencein the survival of African-American and Caucasian patients whenthey receive the same treatment.

The patients in the study had localized disease. All patientsreceived exactly the same regimens of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

National statistics show that African-Americans are about twotimes more likely to die of esophageal cancer, says Dr. Streeter.The survival rate of patients with localized disease is 13% forAfrican-Americans, and 24% for Caucasians.

African-American patients treated in clinical trials consistentlyhave better survival rates than those who aren't, says Dr. Streeter.