Survival rates are higher for Asian/Pacific Islanders with early gastric cancers compared with patients of other racial or ethnic groups with similar-stage stomach cancers, research shows.
Dr. Barry W. Feig of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues analyzed more than 81,000 cases of gastric cancer entered into the National Cancer Database between 1995 and 2002.
The population was 71.5 percent white, 13.7 percent African-American, 7 percent Hispanic, 5.8 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 2 percent from other groups.
They found “significant differences” in survival according to ethnicity. “The overall median survival of Asian/Pacific Islanders was more favorable than that of others,” the investigators report.
The 5-year relative survival rates for stage I and stage II stomach cancers in Asian/Pacific Islanders were roughly 77 percent and 48 percent, respectively.
The corresponding survival rates were 59 percent and 33 percent for whites; 56 percent and 38 percent for African Americans; and 61 percent and 39 percent for Hispanics.
Predictors of a better outcome, in addition to Asian race, were female sex, younger age, earlier stage, lower grade, distal tumors, multimodality treatment, and care at a teaching hospital, the investigators note.
“Further studies should target underlying biologic and socioeconomic factors to explain these differences,” Dr. Feig and colleagues conclude.
SOURCE: Cancer, August 1, 2008.