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Survival disparities in African-American and white colo-rectal cancer patients
Date:10/12/2011

African-American patients with resected stage II and stage III colon cancer experienced worse overall and recurrence-free survival compared to whites, but similar recurrence-free intervals, according to a study published Oct. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. In 2006, there were an estimated 146,970 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the U.S. Of those diagnosed, 15,000 were projected to occur in individuals of African ancestry, resulting in approximately 7,000 deaths. Despite overall improvements in colorectal cancer survival in the U.S., the survival difference between African-Americans and whites has not narrowed. The 5-year relative survival rates for black and white colorectal cancer patients between 1999 and 2005 were 57% and 68%. Although several causes of the disparities have been identified, the reasons are not well understood.

In order to determine the disparities of colorectal cancer survival outcomes between blacks and whites, Greg Yothers, Ph.D., of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Biostatistical Center and colleagues, examined data from the Adjuvant Colon Cancer ENdpoinTs (ACCENT) collaborative group database to analyze 14,611 African-American and white patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer enrolled in 12 phase III randomized controlled clinical trials conducted in North America from 1977-2002. Within these trials, patients received the same adjuvant colon cancer therapy regardless of race, but care for other diseases or recurrent colon cancer was outside the scope of these trials. The researchers evaluated overall survival, recurrence-free survival (time to recurrence or death), and recurrence-free interval (time to recurrence).

The researchers found that the five-year overall survival rate was worse among the 1,218 African-American patients, compared to the whites, wit
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Contact: Kristine Crane
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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