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African-Americans and women are less likely to undergo bone marrow transplantation
Date:5/23/2010

African-Americans and women are less likely than Caucasians and men to undergo bone marrow transplantation to treat cancers of the blood. That is the conclusion of a new analysis published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study's results indicate that additional research is needed to determine why disparities exist in access to bone marrow transplantation and also that the medical community should work to eliminate these inequities.

The Study was done by J. Douglas Rizzo, M.D. and Mary Horowitz, M.D., of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, along with Thomas V. Joshua, of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and a team of several other researchers.

Bone marrow transplantation, or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), is a relatively new treatment that is costly and generally requires lengthy intensive hospitalization and prolonged follow-up care. The number of these transplants has increased rapidly over the last few decades, with approximately 60,000 performed worldwide in 2006. Although HCT has the potential to increase survival for patients with many diseases, particularly cancers of the blood, some recipients die early because of complications associated with the treatment.

Research has revealed a number of healthcare disparities across race and gender. For example, minorities are less likely than whites to receive important healthcare services across a broad array of diseases including cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and mental illness.

The researchers sought to determine whether HCT is used to treat patients with cancers of the blood (leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma) equally for Caucasians and African-Americans, and for women and men.

"This study helps us understand that in general, access to HCT in the United States is not equal, with Af
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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-955-4700
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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