Survival Disparities by Race and Ethnicity in Early Esophageal Cancer
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Survival outcome disparities among esophageal cancer patients exist, but are not fully understood.
We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked database to determine whether survival differences among racial/ethnic patient populations persist after adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.
Our study included T1-3N0M0 adenocarcinoma and squamous cell cancer patients diagnosed between 2003 and 2011. We compared survival among two racial/ethnic patient subgroups using Cox proportional hazards methods, adjusting for age, sex, histology, marital status, socioeconomics, SEER region, comorbidities, T stage, tumor location, diagnosis year, and treatment received.
Among 2025 patients, 87.9% were White and 12.1% were Nonwhite. Median survival was 18.7 months for Whites vs 13.8 months for Nonwhites (p = 0.01). In the unadjusted model, Nonwhite patients had higher risk of mortality (HR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.11–1.49, p < 0.0001) when compared to White patients; however, in the Cox regression adjusted model there was no significant difference (HR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.80–1.10, p = 0.44). Surgery, chemotherapy, younger age, lower T stage, and lower Charlson comorbidity score were significant predictors in the full adjusted model.
Differences in mortality risk by race/ethnicity appear to be largely explained by additional factors. In particular, associations were seen in surgery and T stage. Further research is needed to understand potential mechanisms underlying the differences and to better target patients who can benefit from treatment options.
KeywordsEsophageal cancer Disparities SEER-Medicare Outcomes Survival
NIH R01 CA140574
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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