Despite these differences, race alone did not affect overall survival.
However, race was an independent risk factor for patients of other races compared with Caucasian patients.
"If possible, we would like to look into the tumor biology of 'other' races to see when differences exist in their tumors as compared to Caucasian and African-American patients and whether these differences might account for their better prognosis," Sehgal said.
Other factors identified by researchers as having a negative effect on overall survival were age older than 70 years and male sex. Sixty-seven percent of all African-American patients were younger than 70 years of age when they presented with the disease compared with only 54 percent of Caucasian patients.
Patients undergoing radiation therapy and patients with bronchoalveolar lung cancer histology a type of nonsmall cell lung cancer also had improved prognosis.
Sehgal said that some study limitations did exist, including a lack of data on patients' smoking status, insurance status and comorbidities, all of which could affect overall survival.
|Contact: Jeremy Moore|
American Association for Cancer Research