A new study led by Wendi O’Neill, DDS and Quintin Pan, PhD found that African-American patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) have significantly shorter overall survival than European-American OPSCC patients, even when the groups have similar access to medical care, according to a study published in JCO Oncology Practice.
The study analyzed a cohort of 440 patients who received treatment for OPSCC at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center between 2010 and 2017.
Time to treatment was similar between African American and European American patients, suggesting patients received similar access to medical care.
Among p16+ OPSCC patients, the median overall survival was > 8.65 years for European American patients compared with 5.038 years for African American patients. For p16− patients, the median overall survival was 5.74 years for European American patients and 1.85 years for African American patients.
“Our study shows that a one-size-fits-all approach to the management of OPSCC does a disservice to our African American patients,” said Dr. O’Neill, from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. “Research needs to be prioritized to better understand the distinct biology and clinical needs of the African American OPSCC population."
Dr. Pan is co-leader of the Molecular Oncology Program of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor of Otolaryngology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. Study co-authors include Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members Ted Teknos, MD and Pierre Lavertu, MD, and Trainee Associate Member Kate Chatfield-Reed, PhD.