Cancer Disparities in Colorado: Lung CancerNov 11, 2020
According to the American Cancer Society, Black Americans have shorter survival rates and higher death rates among all racial groups in the United States.
After launching a series of five studies focused on disparities in cancer care and outcomes for Black and Hispanic communities in Colorado the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that Hispanics in Colorado were found more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer and have limited access to proper treatments.
The benefits of advanced lung cancer treatments have been limited in Colorado depending on the racial and socioeconomic status of some patients, prompting Tejas Patil, MD, Assistant Professor with the Division of Medical Oncology, and his team to create a database that gathers specific information about patients, including their sex, race, ethnicity, medical comorbidities, insurance status, and use of palliative care.
Analyzing information from the database should help physicians understand how therapies and side effects vary in their patients based on their racial or socioeconomic status. Due to limited representation of patients from diverse backgrounds in clinical trials of lung cancer treatments, information about predictive biomarkers, negative side effects, and effectiveness of the drugs is scarce.
"These disparities can have an incredibly negative impact on those patients. For example, potentially losing years of life that they could have had with precision medicine" says Dr. Patil.