-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Black, Asian American and
Native American children with neuroblastoma are more likely to die
after treatment than white or Hispanic children with this type of
cancer, which forms in nerve tissue.
That's the conclusion of an analysis of more than 3,500 children
diagnosed with the disease between 2001 and 2009. It also found
that black and Native American children are more likely to have the
high-risk form of neuroblastoma and to show signs of resistance to
The findings suggest that genetic factors play a role in racial
disparities found in outcomes for neuroblastoma patients, said the
They found that:
"By definition, if you are older and have advanced stage disease, you are at high risk for relapse and more difficult to cure," senior author Dr. Susan Cohn, a professor of pediatrics at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said in a UCMC news release. "The major reason why the black patients do worse is because there are more of them in this high-risk group."
She and her colleagues also found that black patients were much
more likely than whites to suffer a "late-occurring" event after
being event-free for two years following diagnosis. This suggests
that black patients are more likely to have residual cancer after
treatment, Cohn said.
The study appears online Nov. 22 in the
Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The same issue includes a study by researchers who say they have
identified six subtypes of medulloblastoma, one of the most common
malignant brain tumors in children. Medulloblastomas carry a death
rate of 40 percent to 50 percent.
The findings could lead to biomarker tests that would help
doctors improve their ability to direct treatment.
"We're basically redefining the disease," senior author Dr. Scott Pomeroy, neurologist-in-chief at Children's Hospital Boston, said in a hospital news release. "This tumor breaks down into subtypes that really act like different diseases, and they will be treated differently looking forward."
The American Cancer Society has more about
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