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

rican Americans and women being less likely to be treated for the most common indications," said Dr. Rizzo.

"Although the reason for this gap cannot be explained by this study, it suggests that the healthcare system in the United States should endeavor to improve access for all patients while waiting for further studies to better explain the differences and suggest better strategies to reduce the disparities."

The investigators estimated the annual incidence of leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma in the United States in people younger than 70 years using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cancer Registry between 1997 and 2002 and US Census Reports for the year 2000. Information on HCT use was obtained from 1997 to 2002 data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

The researchers' analysis revealed that HCT is more frequently used to treat leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma in Caucasians than in African-Americans. Specifically, Caucasians are 40 percent more likely to undergo HCT for these cancers than African-Americans. African-Americans have lower rates of HCT using either their own bone marrow cells or the cells from a donor, indicating that donor availability cannot fully explain the racial differences seen in treatment with HCT. Lack of an available donor is a recognized problem for some minorities. Also, men are 10 percent more likely than women to receive HCT using their own bone marrow cells for reasons that cannot be explained by age or cancer severity.

"There is a shortage of bone marrow donors who are of African American race. This study may raise the awareness of becoming a bone marrow donor in the minority community," said Joshua.


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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-955-4700
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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