A comparison of treatment outcomes for black patients and white patients with metastatic breast cancer. The Piedmont Oncology Association experience.
Prior studies have shown that black patients with breast cancer have poorer survival times compared with white patients even when adjusted for stage. Seventy-four black patients treated on six Piedmont Oncology Association (POA) protocols were compared with 74 randomly selected white patients treated with the same protocols to determine if race had any independent effect on response, time to progression, or survival time. Patients were evenly matched for pretreatment characteristics with the exception that white patients had a significantly higher percentage of bone metastases and significantly less skin involvement. Response rates and median time to progression were similar for black patients and white patients at 31% and 25%, and 9.3 and 9.1 months, respectively. Black patients had poorer survival times even when adjusting for covariables; median survival time was 14.3 months for black patients and 20.3 months for white patients (P less than 0.05). The reason for this survival difference in Stage IV patients is unclear, but is unlikely to be related to treatment. Additional research in this area will be necessary to resolve this issue.
Kimmick, G; Muss, HB; Case, LD; Stanley, V
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