DURHAM, N.C. — Contrary to current perceptions, certain African-American men with advanced prostate cancer have as good a chance of survival as white men and might actually have a small advantage, according to a new analysis of more than 8,000 patients who participated in clinical trials.
In a study presented June 1 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, lead author Susan Halabi, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics and member of the Duke Cancer Institute, said the racial disparities long associated with prostate cancer are complex and persistent. But for men with advanced disease who are treated with a common chemotherapy drug along with steroids, the risk of death is actually lower for African-Americans.
“When we looked at the raw, median survival for white and African-American men in our study, it was equal, at about 21 months,” Halabi said. “But when you compare the men based on similar characteristics that influence survival, the African-American men actually had a 19 percent lower risk for death than white men.”
Halabi and colleagues conducted their analysis on pooled data from nine large studies that used the chemotherapy drug docetaxel, which is a standard therapy and is typically taken along with the steroid prednisone.
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