Authors: Wolf A, Alpert N, Tran BV, Liu B, Flores R, Taioli E
Title: Persistence of racial disparities in early-stage lung cancer treatment.
Journal: J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 157(4):1670-1679.e4
Date: 2019 Apr
PubMed ID: 30685165
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Although the incidence of lung cancer has decreased over the past decades, disparities in survival and treatment modalities have been observed for black and white patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer, despite the fact that surgical resection has been established as the standard of care. Possible contributors to these disparities are stage at diagnosis, comorbidities, socioeconomic factors, and patient preference. This study examines racial disparities in treatment, adjusting for clinicodemographic factors. METHODS: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare dataset was queried to identify patients diagnosed with primary stage I non-small cell lung cancer between 1992 and 2009. Multivariable logistic regressions were performed to assess the association between race and treatment modalities within 1 year of diagnosis, adjusted for clinical and demographic factors. Adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were performed to evaluate disparities in survival, accounting for mode of treatment. RESULTS: We identified 22,724 patients; 21,230 (93.4%) white and 1494 (6.6%) black. Black patients were less likely to receive treatment (odds ratio [OR]adj, 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53-0.73) and less likely to receive surgery only when treated (ORadj, 0.70, 95% CI, 0.61-0.79). Although univariate survival for black patients was worse, when accounting for treatment mode, there was no difference in survival (hazard ratioadj, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.90-1.04 for all patients, hazard ratioadj, 0.98; 95% CI: 0.90-1.06 for treated patients). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment disparities persist, even when adjusting for clinical and demographic factors. However, when black patients receive similar treatment, survival is comparable with white patients.