Study: Black men receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer do better than white men

Study: Black men who get radiation for prostate cancer do better than white men

Black men with prostate cancer may respond better to radiation therapy than white men, according to a new study. Photo by Joshua Woroniecki / Pixabay

December 29 (UPI) – Black men with prostate cancer appear to respond better than white men to radiation therapy for the disease, an analysis published Wednesday by the JAMA Network Open found.

Based on data from seven clinical studies, black men with the disease treated with radiation therapy were 12% less likely to experience cancer recurrence and 28% less likely to have their tumors metastasized or spread to distant organs compared to white men. data showed.

In addition, black men who received radiation therapy were 28% less likely to die of prostate cancer than white men who received the treatment.

This is despite the fact that the black men appeared to have more aggressive disease when they signed up for clinical trials with radiation, according to the researchers.

“These results provide high-level evidence that challenges the common belief that black men diagnosed with prostate cancer will necessarily have a worse prognosis than white men,” said co-author of the analysis. Amar Kishan in a press release.

“This is especially important because an unfounded belief can inadvertently contribute to ‘cancer injustice’, leading to the use of more aggressive treatments than may be necessary,” said Kishan, head of the Genitourinary Oncology Service at the David Geffen School of Medicine. at UCLA.

These aggressive treatments, in turn, could potentially lower the quality of life, he said.

About every eighth man in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer or a tumor in the gland of the same name, and there are nearly 250,000 new cases of the disease annually, with black men considered to be at increased risk. American Cancer Society estimates.

Less than 3% of those diagnosed with the disease will die from it, but the risk of death is twice as high among black men than for those in other racial and ethnic groups, according to society.

Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells, is often the first treatment used for men with prostate cancer, as it preserves the function of the gland, which plays a key role in urinary and sexual health, it says.

For this analysis, Kishan and his colleagues looked at individual patient data from seven clinical trials of radiation therapy, which enrolled a total of 8,814 participants.

All patients in the trials received either standard or high-dose radiation therapy, and some patients also underwent short- or long-term androgen deprivation therapy, a hormone-based treatment for the disease, the researchers said.

Of all participants in the seven trials, 1,630 men identified themselves as black and 7,184 as white.

Most of the black men in the studies were in their late 60s, unlike the early 70s for the white participants, and most had been diagnosed with high-risk disease, meaning it was likely to spread sig.

Nevertheless, black men in the trials had lower incidence of disease relapse, tumor metastases and death compared to white men, the data showed.

When adjustments were made for age and other factors, black men still had better results after treatment than white men, the researchers said.

“This information will help us identify potential drivers and dampers of inequalities in the treatment of prostate cancer,” said co-author Dr. Things Martin Ma in a press release.

However, because black men tend to be less willing to entertain the idea of ​​participating in clinical trials, due to “medical mistrust”, the fairness of access to care and treatment may not be representative of what usually happens. , added Ma, resident. doctor at UCLA.


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