Publication Abstract

Authors: Obeidat NA, Pradel FG, Zuckerman IH, Trovato JA, Palumbo FB, DeLisle S, Mullins CD

Title: Racial/ethnic and age disparities in chemotherapy selection for colorectal cancer.

Journal: Am J Manag Care 16(7):515-22

Date: 2010 Jul

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To test the hypotheses that African American patients and older patients with stage IV colorectal cancer were less likely to receive newer chemotherapy agents. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort design. METHODS: Among 5068 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare patients diagnosed as having stage IV colorectal cancer between 2000 and 2002, a total of 2466 received chemotherapy and were included in the analysis. Irinotecan hydrochloride was the first of the "newer" chemotherapy agents and was marketed in 2000 as a first-line add-on agent. Descriptive statistics were generated, and a multivariable logistic regression was run to estimate the odds of receiving irinotecan among African American patients and older patients and within 2 months of chemotherapy initiation. RESULTS: African American patients had lower odds of initiating treatment with a newer chemotherapy than white patients (adjusted odds ratio, 0.641; 95% confidence interval, 0.453-0.907). An age disparity was also found, with all older age groups being significantly less likely to initiate treatment with a newer chemotherapy than the youngest age group: the adjusted odds of receiving newer chemotherapy agents (relative to patients aged 66-70 years) were lower and significant among patients aged 71 to 75, 76 to 80, and older than 80 years (odds ratios, 0.708, 0.527, and 0.213, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Disparities in chemotherapy selection exist among patients receiving chemotherapy for stage IV colorectal cancer. On initiating chemotherapy, African American patients and older patients were less likely to receive a newer agent.