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Karmanos Physician-Scientists Examine Racial Disparities in,Patients with Gynecologic Cancer

of Caucasians due to a less aggressive treatment plan. These treatment plans may be prescribed by the physician, chosen by the patient, or due to a lack of treatment options.

Over seven years, Karmanos physician-scientists followed a group of 170 Caucasian and African American ovarian cancer patients through similar treatment plans, consisting of surgery and chemotherapy. The study revealed, out of the 70 percent of patients who had optimal tumor reduction surgery followed by chemotherapy, the Caucasian patients lived 16-20 months longer than the African American patients.

These results were compared to the Charlson co-morbidity index, which predicts the one-year mortality for a patient who may have a range of co-morbid conditions, such as a patient suffering from cancer along with diabetes.

"African Americans were found to have higher co-morbidity scores, meaning they may have additional factors that contribute to their cancer survivability rate," said Dr. Schimp. "Our study revealed that, in part, a patient's outcome is based on her co-morbidity score, not only on the biology of her cancer or aggressiveness of the cancer treatment."

Based in midtown Detroit, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is committed to a future free of cancer. The Institute is one of 39 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, the Karmanos Cancer Institute is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 faculty members, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, the Institute strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D. is the Institute's president and CEO.

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

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