MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Luciano J. Costa, MD, PhD
Department of Medicine and UAB-CCC
Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy Program
Birmingham, AL 35294
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Even though expected survival for multiple myeloma patients has increased over the last two decades, that improvement has not been much more pronounced among White than among patients of racial/ethnic minorities. It is possible that such discrepancy results from unequal access to care, particularly as treatment becomes more complex and expensive. We used a large dataset of patients with multiple myeloma to explore how socioeconomic factors, specifically marital status, income and insurance affect outcome and how these factors relate to race/ethnicity.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: We observed that marital status, income and insurance status had strong influence in patients likelihood of survival. Even though patients of racial/ethnic minorities are more likely to be uninsured, not-married and live in low income areas, race-ethnicity itself does not seem to affect chances of survival. This find points to an opportunity to improve survival of multiple myeloma patients by addressing barriers for access to care.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The strength of this study is to be based on a very large number of patients. However we need to do further research with more detailed patient data to understand exactly how these socioeconomic factors affect survival so we can design interventions to specifically address the problems.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: It is important to recognize and quantify how socioeconomic factors interfere with cancer outcomes. With the existing emphasis in comparative effectiveness it is important that we account for intrinsic socio demographic characteristics of the population when comparing outcomes of different healthcare systems.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Luciano J. Costa, Ilene K. Brill, and Elizabeth E. Brown. Impact of marital status, insurance status, income and race/ethnicity on the survival of younger patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the US. Cancer, 2016 DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30183
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