QOL and Survival Comparisons by Race in Oncology Clinical Trials

Tan AD, Novotny PJ, Kaur JS, Buckner JC, Mowat RB,

Background: Significant efforts have been made to increase access and accrual to clinical trials for minority cancer patients (MP). This meta-analysis looked for differences in survival and baseline quality of life (QOL) between MP and non-minority cancer patients (NMP). Materials and Methods: Baseline QOL and overall survival times from 47 clinical trials (6513 patients) conducted at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center/North Central Cancer Treatment Group were utilized. Assessments included Uniscale, Linear Analogue Self Assessment, Symptom Distress Scale (SDS), Profile of Mood States and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General, each transformed into a 0-100 scale with higher scores indicating better outcomes. This transformation involves subtracting the lowest possible value from the assessment, dividing by the range of the scale (the maximum minus the minimum), and multiplying by 100. Analyses included Fisher’s Exact tests, linear regression, Kaplan-Meier curves, and Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Eight percent of patients self-reported as MP (0.45% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 0.7% Asian, 5% Black/African American, 1.5% Hispanic, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and 0.3% Other). MP had no meaningful deficits relative to non-MP in overall QOL but were slightly worse on FACT-G total score, physical, social/family, functional, and SDS nausea severity. MP with lung, neurological or GI cancers had significantly worse mean scores in nausea (58 vs. 69), sleep problems (34 vs. 54); emotional (53 vs. 74); and social/family (60 vs. 67), respectively. Regression models confirmed these results. After adjusting for disease site, there were no significant differences in survival. Conclusion: MP on these clinical trials indicated small deficits in physical, social, and emotional subscales at baseline compared to NMP. Within cancer sites, MP experienced large deficits for selected QOL domains that bear further attention.

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