Survival for patients with multiple myeloma has increased during the first decade of the 21st century. However, it is unknown whether the improvements in survival have extended equally in all ethnic groups. Using data from the United States Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, we assessed trends in survival and disease-related mortality for patients with myeloma by ethnic group, including non-Hispanic whites (nHw), AfricanAmericans (AA), Hispanics and people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent (API) from 1998-2001 to 2006-2009. Overall, age adjusted 5-year relative survival increased, from 35.6% in 1998-2001 to 44% in 2006-2009. The greatest improvements were observed for patients aged 15-49, for whom survival increased by + 16.8% units for nHw and + 14.4% units for AA, whereas improvement was less pronounced and not statistically significant in Hispanics and API. Excess mortality hazard ratios were 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-1.33) for AA and 1.25 (95% CI: 1.11-1.41) for Hispanics compared to nHw in 2006-2009. Although survival increased greatly for nHw with myeloma between 1998-2001 and 2006-2009, smaller increases were observed for people of other ethnic groups. Persistent excess mortality was seen for AA and Hispanic patients with myeloma. Ethnic inequalities persisted or even increased from earlier periods to 2006-2009. The results suggest that ethnic minorities may not have benefited from newer treatments to the same extent as nHw patients have.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published