Hispanics Have Lower Death Rates for Common Lung CancerA large population-based analysis of U.S. patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) indicates that Hispanic white patients have better overall survival than non-Hispanic whites and blacks, according to a report published online April 23 in Cancer. The researchers also found that Hispanic whites had higher rates than non-Hispanic whites of a subtype of NSCLC that has a more favorable prognosis than other subtypes of the disease.
Dr. Brian Lally and his colleagues at the University of Miami analyzed data from more than 172,000 patients in NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database who were diagnosed with NSCLC between 1988 and 2007. Among the clinical variables that could account for the differences in survival, the investigators found that the NSCLC subtypes associated with better survival, particularly the bronchioalveolar carcinoma subtype, were more common in Hispanic whites.
The authors noted that previous studies have indicated that Hispanic white patients have better survival than non-Hispanic white and black patients for several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. “This finding was previously termed the ‘Hispanic paradox,’ because [Hispanic whites] in the United States tend to have fewer resources and less access to care than [non-Hispanic whites] and also tend to have a poverty rate similar to that of blacks,” the authors noted.
“The results of our analysis suggest that different molecular phenotypes of NSCLC may be the product of an interaction between genetic and environmental factors that could be related to ethnicity,” the researchers said. Further studies into these factors are needed, they concluded.