April 26, 2012 - The journal Cancer has issued the following press release.
A new analysis has found that Hispanic lung cancer patients seem to live longer than white or black patients. The study suggests that, as with several other types of cancer, certain yet-to-be-defined genetic and/or environmental factors put Hispanic patients at a survival advantage. Most studies that look at ethnic and racial disparities in lung cancer compare black patients with whites. To see how Hispanics compare with other ethnicities with regards to survival after a lung cancer diagnosis, Ali Saeed, an MD/PhD candidate, and Brian Lally, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, led a team that analyzed patient information from the Survival, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database, which compiles incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries in the United States. The investigators identified 172,398 adult patients who were diagnosed with any stage of non-small cell lung cancer (the most common form of lung cancer) between 1988 and 2007. Compared with white patients, Hispanic patients had a 15 percent lower risk of dying during the years of the study, whether they were born in the United States or not. "This is important because it shows that our findings are indicative of the Hispanic population in general and not specific to specific groups of Hispanics," said Saeed. Black patients were slightly more likely to die than whites. Also, Hispanics were more likely to develop a lung cancer type called bronchioalveolar carcinoma that is not as serious or life-threatening as other types.
Saeed AM, Toonkel R, Glassberg MK, Nguyen D, Hu JJ, Zimmers TA, Robbins DJ, Koniaris LG, Lally BE. The influence of Hispanic ethnicity on nonsmall cell lung cancer histology and patient survival: An analysis of the Survival, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Cancer. 2012 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print] (PubMed)